Google has expanded the functionality of its Fast Pair system to make connecting Bluetooth headphones to Wear OS smartwatches quicker and easier.
Announced at the start of 2022, the feature already helps with connecting Bluetooth headphones to Chromebooks, Android televisions and smart home devices.
Instead of pairing headphones to these products in the usual way, Fast Pair associates them with your Google account, so they automatically pair with other compatible products that you are logged into. Fast Pair is also used by products from Fitbit, which Google acquired in 2021.
It makes a lot of sense for Google to add this feature to its Wear OS smartwatch operating system. Not only should this make it quick and easy to connect headphones to existing Wear OS devices, it’ll also be a feature of Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch, which is due out later this year.
Fast Pair’s coming to Wear OS was spotted by 9to5Google, which clocked how Google this week updated its System Updates changelog to say: “[Wear OS] Fast Pair on Wear OS to allow previously paired headphones to be discovered and connected to wearables.”
The update appears to be rolling out slowly, and Google hasn’t yet announced its availability beyond the changelog edit mentioned above. We wouldn’t be surprised if Google is taking a below-the-radar approach, at least initially, so that any creases can be ironed out before the Pixel Watch arrives later in the year. There’s also a chance that Fast Pair could be exclusive to Google’s own smartwatch, at least at first.
The company is also bringing Fast Pair to its Chrome OS in the coming weeks, and we also expect to see the function come to Android TV and Google TV products, plus some models of car and smart home devices compatible with the Matter wireless standard.