Apple made waves with the introduction of their own proprietary W1 chip. This cutting edge chip is used in AirPods, as well as several versions of Beats headphones. It offers superior range, audio quality, and a dead simple pairing process. Now, Android has their own version, known as Fast Pair.
As outlined on the Android developer blog, Fast Pair-enabled devices will start the pairing process when they are brought near your phone. It utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy as well as your phone’s location. It will then download an image of the device, and offer download any accompanying app from the Google Play.
Does any of that sound familiar?
When you pair AirPods, or other W1-equipped headphones, they operate in a very similar way. They include an image of the AirPods, and pair quickly and easily.
Apple still has an advantage though, as Fast Pair only improved the process of pairing, not the actual performance. So it won’t offer the range or robust signal offered from Apple’s W1-enabled headphones.
Fast Pair will be available on Android devices going back to version 6.o. It is nice to see that they are extending support so far backwards, but it will still require manufacturer support to get off the ground. Headphones and speakers must have this Fast Pair support built in to take advantage of it. Currently, there are only a few headphones that support it.
You can learn more about Fast Pair, over on Google’s Android developer portal.
Do you think it is getting a bit cumbersome to start rolling out all of these wireless pairing platforms? Do you think Apple’s should make the W1 cores platform and open up support for other manufacturers to utilize it? Let us know below