Google Pixel Buds Tapping Now Skips Tracks, Turns On & Off

Google today announced a new update is on the way out to the company's Pixel Buds wireless earbuds, one that fixes a major criticism that had been leveled at the product since it first launched late last year. The change is related to the way in which users interact with the Pixel Buds through gestures, as up until now these gestures have primarily been to accommodate the Google Assistant functionality, though that has now changed.

For example, the Pixel Buds have always offered the ability to tap an earbud to start and stop the music, tap and hold for the Google Assistant, or double-tap to hear the latest notifications. Following this new update, however, users will have the option to choose what double-tapping does by either keeping the default (notification feedback) action or assigning the double-tap gesture to skip to the next track. The option to this will be available in the Pixel Buds’ settings within the Google app once the update has rolled out.

Furthermore, the Pixel Buds are also now gaining triple-tap support which lets the user manually turn on or off the Pixel Buds. Due to their lack of physical buttons, turning on or off the buds in the past has relied on the user inserting or removing the earbuds from the case. Now, though, users have the option to manually turn them on or off while keeping them in the ear. Consistent with the previous gesture support these new gestures will be active through the right earbud only. While these new gestures are now becoming available, the Pixel Buds retain the previously-available gestures including swiping left or right to adjust the volume. As an additional feature, Google has also confirmed that following the update it should be far easier for users to switch between connected devices. In other words, as long as more than one devices has previously been paired with the Buds, users will be able to select the Pixel Buds from the Bluetooth menu of a device and have the Pixel Buds automatically terminate the existing connection in favor of establishing a connection to the other device. Google states the update should have fully rolled out to all devices “by early next week.”

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John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]