Google is presently developing a variety of new features for its Pixel Buds wireless earphones, as suggested by a teardown of the latest version of the Google app performed by 9to5Google. Among other things, the Alphabet-owned company is working on a triple-tap functionality meant to be used for quickly turning off the earbuds. The shortcut may allow attentive users to get some additional battery life out of their earphones if they often happen to be carrying them around outside of their charging case. The software that's presently running on the device doesn't allow for it to be turned off manually, less the Pixel Buds are placed in their charging case. While the headphones don't consume much power even while they're on if you aren't actively using them, a triple-tap shutdown shortcut may still prove to be useful to people who end up frequently relying on it.
The Smart Detection functionality that makes the Pixel Buds pause playback when the right bud is removed has now been renamed to "In-ear detection" but still isn't live in the 7.23 version of the Google app, according to some newly discovered code. Google has yet to reflect on the feature in an official capacity but is expected to launch it on a global level in the coming months. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant also appears to be developing customization support for the double-tap action which can so far only be used for Google Assistant-enabled notifications and stopping the company's artificial intelligence companion from speaking. In the future, the same action will also allow for song skips and possibly some other shortcuts, as indicated by a number of code strings discovered in the latest version of the Google app.
Originally introduced last October, the Pixel Buds were met with a mixed response from critics and consumers alike, with many praising their audio quality and unique features such as live translation support but being disappointed by their overall build sturdiness and design in the context of their $159.99 price tag. Google may launch a follow-up to the Pixel Buds next fall when it's also expected to debut the Pixel 3 series of Android flagships.