Google seems to be quite close to bringing Fast Pair support to Chromebooks. A recently spotted commit to the Chromium Gerrit suggests this development. The commit reveals that a “Fast Pair” flag is coming to Chrome OS in the chrome://flags menu. Once added, enabling it will turn on the long-overdue Bluetooth feature on Chromebooks. Google provides the following description for the flag, basically summarizing the Fast Pair feature (via):
“Enables Google Fast Pair service which uses BLE to discover supported nearby Bluetooth devices and surfaces a notification for quick pairing. Use along with #bluetooth-advertisement-monitoring to allow background scanning.”
If you’re not privy to Fast Pair, it’s a Bluetooth feature that lets you quickly and seamlessly connect Bluetooth earbuds and supported accessories to your device with a single tap. After the initial setup, your device will automatically detect your earbuds as soon as you open the charging case. A prompt will appear on the screen, featuring an image of the earbuds and a “Connect” button. Tapping this button will connect the buds to your device. It’s as simple as that. No need to fumble through several menus, buttons, and toggles in the settings.
Fast Pair works with over 100 earbuds and headphones from manufacturers like Sony, JBL, Bose, and many others. It also works with mice, keyboards, and several other peripheral devices.
Not much information is available about this upcoming Fast Pair support for Chromebooks though. It should work similarly though we can’t say what the prompt may look like. The feature got an interface redesign on Android recently. We expect Chrome OS to follow the new UI.
Fast Pair for Chromebooks was previously spotted in development in May. Google has been long working on it but nothing has come as of now. But the work must go on and by the looks of it, we are now closer than ever to it.
Chrome OS might finally get Fast Pair support
Chrome OS hasn’t had a very smooth ride in terms of Bluetooth-related features. Bluetooth-connected wireless devices never offered the best experience on Chromebooks. The issues were so big that Google tried to rebuild Bluetooth from the ground up for Chrome OS with its NewBlue project, only for the efforts to fail. While the situation has improved significantly today, the user experience is still subpar compared to Android and other platforms. The lack of Fast Pair support tells a lot about it.
Google launched Fast Pair back in October 2017. Nearly four years on, it’s still missing from Chromebooks. But the company is hard at work on it and it’s likely only a matter of time now. That said, Fast Pair support is not even live in the Chrome OS Canary channel as of yet. So there’s still some waiting to do before it reaches Chromebook owners all over the world. We will be keeping a close eye on the developments in the coming months.