What about notifications and alerts? To keep things from getting chaotic, Google says it has created a ranking system for notifications to prioritize how the audio stream switches between two devices. At the heart of this system is your Google account, just the way Apple’s version needs an Apple ID. You will need the same Google account logged in for audio switching to work on both devices.
Audio switching is just one of the few features that Google aims to offer with Fast Pair, which is built on the Bluetooth LE Audio platform. Bluetooth SIG recently finalized the specifications for its LE version, which also brings the benefits of LE Audio to the table, such as the LC3 audio codec for a more immersive music listening experience, Auracast, and compatibility with hearing aids.
The news also means Bluetooth LE devices are not too far off from hitting the shelves armed with audio switching support. With Fast Pair, a paired device’s signature linked to a Google account is saved without any dedicated app. So, the next time you want to connect your earbuds, there is no need to fiddle with the Bluetooth settings.
A half-page notification asking for a pairing prompt will do the job in a jiffy. Samsung already offers that convenience, but it is locked to its own ecosystem of Galaxy-branded devices, just like Apple. With Fast Pair, Google will democratize it across the entire Android ecosystem. And soon, for Chromebooks and Windows PCs, too.