It’s no secret that Chromebooks have had a rough history with Bluetooth. From middling stability to audio cut-outs, using wireless devices on Chrome OS has long been subpar. Fast forward to today, and the Bluetooth situation has improved — albeit still with some minor hiccups. One of the most annoying issues with Bluetooth is its tedious pairing process, which Google took it upon itself to fix with Fast Pair in 2017. While that brought seamless pairing to Android devices, support for Chromebooks is nonexistent. After a long hiatus, it seems Google will finally add the long-overdue Fast Pair to Chrome OS.
We’ve spotted merged code on the Chromium Gerrit that confirms Fast Pair for Chrome OS is in the works. As the commit explains, it’s still very early in development, so it will be some time before it arrives, even in Canary.
Google’s Fast Pair for Chromebooks in development. | Chromium Gerrit
Fast Pair makes fumbling with Bluetooth settings a thing of the past. It works by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to look for nearby devices. Chrome OS will automatically discover compatible accessories, making the pairing process effortless. We’re unsure if Google will also bring additional helpful features to Fast Pair, like locating your lost Bluetooth earbuds.
It’s about damn time. Fast Pair is a game changer for everybody — whether a student like myself or a casual user. As time becomes more scarce thanks to the pandemic, I can’t be bothered troubleshooting Bluetooth; Fast Pair for Chromebooks could be the silver bullet to my Bluetooth woes. Instead of reaching for my phone, I can load up some beats on my Chromebook — all while pairing my Pixel Buds at lightning speeds.
Here’s what could make Fast Pair for Chromebooks really special: future Bluetooth keyboards and mice has the potential to support it. Chrome OS would automatically detect them out-of-the-box so you’d be ready to work in just seconds. For folks like myself who always misplace their mice, Fast Pair can aid in location, saving you time. And thanks to Google’s Works With Chromebooks initiative, this concept could very well be a reality.
Fast Pair will undoubtedly make the Bluetooth experience way better for Chromebooks. If implemented competently, it could be the proverbial nail in the coffin to solve Chrome OS’s Bluetooth troubles. I can’t wait to test this feature when it works in Canary, which should hopefully be soon.