Google's New True Wireless Pixel Buds Mimic Two Key AirPods Features

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Google launched its second-generation Pixel Buds this week to generally favorable reviews, thanks in part to a couple of new features that AirPods owners have appreciated for some time.


The new Pixel Buds use a pairing process on Android 6.0+ phones called Fast Pair: Hold the case near your phone, flip the lid, and a screen pops up on the screen to indicate automatic pairing, which links them to the user's Google account.

Apart from the obvious UI differences, that's pretty much identical to the way you connect a pair of AirPods to iPhone. But the similarities don't stop there. Google is also making it easier to find misplaced Pixel Buds. From Google's blog:
It can be frustrating when you put your Bluetooth headphones down and immediately forget where you placed them. If they're connected to your phone, you can locate your headphones by ringing them... And, when you misplace your headphones, in the coming months, you can check their last known location in the Find My Device app if you have Location History turned on.
Sound familiar? Apple's Find My app includes a Find my AirPods feature that plays a tone to help users recover nearby ?AirPods connected to iPhone or iPad. It also shows the last known location of AirPods if they're no longer connected.

Credit where it's due, Google appears to have implemented the features well, including notifying users when the earbuds and case battery are running low upon connection. The company says it plans to include its Fast Pair technology in other audio accessories, just like Apple added its instant-pairing W1 and H1 chips to its wireless Beats line.

The new Pixel Buds are compatible with iOS, but don't expect the new seamless pairing features to work with iPhone (the same goes for AirPods on Android). Unlike AirPods Pro, Pixel Buds don't include active noise canceling either, instead offering something called Adaptive Sound that automatically adjusts the volume based on the wearer's surroundings.

Features like Adaptive Sound and other settings are accessible in the Pixel Buds app on devices running Android 6.0 and later. The Pixel Buds software is also built into the settings menu as a system-level app on Pixel phones. Google's new Pixel Buds are priced at $179 in the U.S. and can be ordered on the Google Play Store.

Article Link: Google's New True Wireless Pixel Buds Mimic Two Key AirPods Features
 

SRLMJ23

macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2008
2,135
1,090
Central New York
Yeah, I will never be interested in Android devices.

I hate how Google blatantly copies Apple. Seriously, they cannot come up with a different name for their version of the "Find My" app?! They have their own people to come up with names for features, and you are telling they could not come up with something different, or they just do not care?

Sorry for the mini-rant. I know we are used to Google copying Apple, it just really annoys me!

:apple:
 

mazz0

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2011
2,029
1,255
Leeds, UK
Yeah, I will never be interested in Android devices.

I hate how Google blatantly copies Apple. Seriously, they cannot come up with a different name for their version of the "Find My" app?! They have their own people to come up with names for features, and you are telling they could not come up with something different, or they just do not care?

Sorry for the mini-rant. I know we are used to Google copying Apple, it just really annoys me!

:apple:
Erm, I’m quite an Apple fanboi, but I don’t think it’s very fair to suggest this is a one way street. Aren’t control centre and notification centre both copied from Android? And the tiles-based app switcher is from some other, now defunct, mobile OS isn’t it?
 

Aston441

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,543
2,222
I'm wondering if the mics are any better than the tin can with string quality of the current AirPods?

Of course no "tech" publication will objectively test this with audio testing equipment, as usual, as the level of audio savvy amongst the population of reviewers dropped off a cliff after 2005 or so.
 

mazz0

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2011
2,029
1,255
Leeds, UK
Speaking of finding AirPods with Find My, I lost mine yesterday and told it to play a noise, but it just stuck on Pending and never played a noise. Does this only work if they’re out of the case, or the case is open?
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,249
2,809
UK
Quite amazing how Android articles draw almost immediate responses from so many people who are all quick to state they have no interest in the item. Presumably not helped by the stirring tone of the article.

Back on topic: The buds seem a bit bulky to me, keen to hear how they compare for longer duration wear, exercise and the Airpod Pro's weakest trait - sound quality. Shame they don't have ANC so presumably, not pass through.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,462
14,032
In between a rock and a hard place
Quite amazing how Android articles draw almost immediate responses from so many people who are all quick to state they have no interest in the item. Presumably not helped by the stirring tone of the article.

Back on topic: The buds seem a bit bulky to me, keen to hear how they compare for longer duration wear, exercise and the Airpod Pro's weakest trait - sound quality. Shame they don't have ANC so presumably, not pass through.
Curious. I've seen that sentiment expressed several times by several people whenever a wireless earbud topic comes up. Why are people assuming transparency mode is dependent on having ANC? Afaict, ANC isn't a prerequisite for having pass through capability. Products like the Galaxy Buds and Jabra E75t don't have ANC but both have pass through modes: Ambient Sound for Samsung and Jabra has the terribly named Hear-Through mode.

As for the Pixel Buds having pass through, I doubt they do as well. The review on tom's guide doesn't mention it at all.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
13,648
12,018
US
Yeah, I will never be interested in Android devices.

I hate how Google blatantly copies Apple. Seriously, they cannot come up with a different name for their version of the "Find My" app?! They have their own people to come up with names for features, and you are telling they could not come up with something different, or they just do not care?

Sorry for the mini-rant. I know we are used to Google copying Apple, it just really annoys me!

:apple:
I have a house full of Apple products and I am sending this from my iMac. But lets be real here. All companies copy from each other. We the customer benefit greatly from this practice.
Apple has copied things from the Android space numerous times. Heck the ability to copy and paste....any iPhone with a display larger than 4.7 inch is thanks to coping Android phones. Then there is wireless charging OLED displays and so many more features.
I for one am thankful they copy from each other.
 

N0ddie

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2011
390
67
Glasgow
I think for pixel users this seem like the best option for sure.
Nah. Airpods Pro are the best options for Pixel users, and really anyone tbh. After the 15 seconds longer to initially pair with the Pixel, there is nothing different to using them on the iPhone/iPad.
 

The Game 161

macrumors Core
Dec 15, 2010
22,638
12,164
UK
Nah. Airpods Pro are the best options for Pixel users, and really anyone tbh. After the 15 seconds longer to initially pair with the Pixel, there is nothing different to using them on the iPhone/iPad.
It has google assistant built in which will work better with a google phone.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,260
12,245
Europe
Yeah, I will never be interested in Android devices.

I hate how Google blatantly copies Apple. Seriously, they cannot come up with a different name for their version of the "Find My" app?! They have their own people to come up with names for features, and you are telling they could not come up with something different, or they just do not care?

Sorry for the mini-rant. I know we are used to Google copying Apple, it just really annoys me!

:apple:
"Good artists copy, great artists steal ... We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." Who said that? I always forget ;)
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,260
12,245
Europe
WebOS. I was one of the 35 people who loved it.
Were there 35 of us? Felt a lot smaller.

Man I miss those times. WebOS and Palm were so ahead of their time it's crazy.
  • Synergy and being able to merge all your different texting and chat apps into one cohesive UI. That was amazing and not even Apple or Google have been able to accomplish anything close yet.
  • Wireless charging with the alignment magnets built-in. That was also 10x better that this Qi bull we have today.
  • Cards UI with swiping gestures. It was adopted by others 5-10 years later, but WebOS still did it best. Nobody lets you group apps like you could in WebOS3.
 
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