Android devices quickly and securely sync with Bluetooth enabled accessories using 'Fast Pair'

Android devices quickly and securely sync with Bluetooth enabled accessories using 'Fast Pair'
On Tuesday, Google announced a new way to pair a Bluetooth enabled device with an Android powered smartphone running Android 6.0 or higher, and carrying Google Play services 11.7 and up. Called 'Fast Pair', the feature is rolling out to Android devices powered by the Marshmallow build of Android and higher. Currently, 'Fast Pair' will work with ear buds like  the Google Pixel Buds, or Libratone's Q Adapt On-Ear. The feature will soon work with the upcoming Plantronics Voyager 8200 series wireless headsets.

'Fast Pair' uses  Bluetooth Low Energy for advertising and discovery, and regular Bluetooth for pairing. For example, here is the process of how this new process works on a compatible Android device:

  • Turn on a Fast Pair-enabled device and put it in pairing mode.
  • Android scans for BLE broadcasts in close proximity of the user's phone and discovers a Fast Pair packet (provided Bluetooth and Location is turned on).
  • This packet is sent to Google servers to get back the device's product image, product name and companion app (if there is one).
  • The user receives a high priority notification asking them to "Tap to pair" to the device. The notification contains the product name and image.
  • When the user taps on the notification, Google uses classic Bluetooth to establish a connection.
  • A success notification is shown which contains a link to download the companion app (if there is one).

Google calls this a "seamless and secure" way to connect an Android powered smartphone to the right accessory. And the manufacturers get their name, product and a related app seen by the device owner. It's what we in the media call a "win-win."

                                                                                                                                                        

source: Google

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21 Comments

1. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Apple Rip off feature?

4. palmguy

Posts: 965; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Android wasn't 1st to do it, it's just does it better. Android is the OS so it's allowed for OEM's with Android's OS to do it seamlessly across all hardware with Bluetooth devices that join in. Magical.

10. worldpeace

Posts: 3099; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

At least this one will work on more than 1 phone brand and 1 headphone brand.

20. mootu

Posts: 1421; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Well so far it only works with 3 headphone brands. Also will it work if your in an area with no signal? as it has to contact Googles servers for the pairing to work.

5. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

With all those features, Apple still can't send images or songs thru Bluetooth to Android.

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

And you'll have to break outta the jail to get iOS to use the full potential of the hardware it's running on.

7. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

IKR! It's a feature available even on ancient mobile OSes (WinMo, Symbian, S40) and Apple can't even do it right. Can't even transfer vcf files. Gawd!

8. japkoslav

Posts: 1447; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

To be honest it is not that important for Android as it was for iOS. Bluetooth pairing on android was always much quicker on Android, there is quick access for bluetooth devices right in the top bar. It will be nice to have, would it make any difference for my daily usage? Nope.

9. peace247 unregistered

I wrote a comment on how ios has copied features from android... But i can't find it...iphonearena removed it....wth....

11. worldpeace

Posts: 3099; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

They did that all the time.

18. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Hahaha, I saw the moderated comment, you can see it by enabling moderated comments in the comment options on the Desktop site. Just goes to show how hypocritical the moderators of this site are, even if you post facts, they'll get immensely butt hurt if it's against their divine fruity...

21. Scott93274

Posts: 6025; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Like Apple ripped off NFC, High Def resolution, widgets, front-facing cameras, multitasking, third-party keyboards, predictive typing, quick access settings, video previews in App Store... but who really cares other than butt-hurt fanboys, I say if it moves either platform forward, embrace the company's willingness to find inspiration in the competition.

12. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Nice new android feature, everybody talks about Apple... Nice work Apple!

13. ph00ny

Posts: 2002; Member since: May 26, 2011

Don't most newer devices have NFC pairing? Are people that lazy to just simply tap?

14. bucknassty

Posts: 1311; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

This is hilarious... in the video look how close they pull in the headphones... might as well sync with NFC

15. lallolu

Posts: 731; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

No. Most bluetooth devices do not have NFC. There also many smartphones that do not have NFC. Another issue is that NFC uses battery so people like me have it off except when needed.

16. cmdacos

Posts: 3889; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

My NFC is always on. There is no noticable effect on battery life if switched off. Anyone that has a low end device that doesn't have NFC is likely not buying quality Bluetooth headphones.

17. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

I thought NFC didn't require a power source. That's why you can buy NFC tags that have no power source.

19. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

NFC barely uses any power, always had it enabled on my OnePlus One and now my Note 8, never had it affecting my battery life in any significant way...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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