Depending on the earbuds, set up could be as simple as bringing the Bluetooth accessory near your Android phone. This is made possible by Fast Pair, which Google updated in recent weeks to take after iOS
Since Fast Pair’s launch in 2017, the process has started with a standard notification that includes a thumbnail of the device in question. Appearing at the top of your screen, a simple tap would initiate pairing and then provide a confirmation.
Google has tweaked the set up experience so that it now features a tall sheet sliding up from the bottom. The name of your device is centered above, while a bigger picture and “Connect” button appears below. Once paired via Bluetooth, you have the option to continue “Setup” or “Close.”
Android’s new Fast Pair design, which was quietly introduced in November (or earlier), very much takes after iOS and AirPods. There is a clear advantage to this approach as pairing new accessories should be a very prominent event. Compared to a notification, you’re less likely to miss or swipe away a bottom sheet.
Meanwhile, Google has improved on the experience. This UI appears when setting up a new Fast Pair accessory for the first time with your phone. Android still uses a compact notification to note the battery status of each item (earbuds and case), while Apple opts for bringing up the entire sheet to show percentage. The smaller alert is also leveraged for re-pairing accessories, especially on phones and tablets already signed-in to your Google Account.
With the launch of the Pixel Buds earlier this year, Google introduced a slew of related features, including Find My Device integration, low battery alerts, and button customization.