In the ongoing saga of the Google Pixel Buds, a new wrinkle has emerged today that lends some serious credence to the idea that we may finally see the arrival of the diminutive #madeByGoogle accessories in the very near future. With the history of these headphones, I think it wise to exercise a fair bit of caution regarding release window expectations. We’ve had other occasions and circumstances lead us to believe a launch was just around the corner before and only been let down when the device didn’t materialize.
Today, however, Google has officially made the Pixel Buds app available in the Play Store and this leads me to believe they are actually ready to pull the wraps off the new earbuds and let all those eager to buy them finally do so. There’s really no reason for Google to roll this app out publicly unless the availability of the Pixel Buds is right around the corner. That being said, I think the bigger deal here is the fact that this app is now available for everyone now, not just Pixel phone owners.
As a matter of fact, from the looks of it, the app has been on Pixel phones prior to today as those users are now only prompted to update the existing application. What is rolling out today is the wider availability of the app to the Android community as a whole. With what seems to be lackluster sales of the Pixel line of devices (aside from the 3a and 3a XL), this move makes a whole lot of sense. Now, instead of a stellar user experience for Pixel phone users and a standard Bluetooth experience for the rest of the Android community, this app looks to bridge the gap and bring the full Pixel Buds feature set along for the ride regardless of your Android phone’s manufacturer. Here’s the actual description of the app from Google:
The companion app for your Pixel Buds
Set up and manage your Pixel Buds right from your Android 6.0+ device with the Google Pixel Buds app. You can easily check your earbuds and case battery levels, and control features like Adaptive Sound, in-ear detection, find device, Google Assistant, and spoken notifications.
Here are some of the things you can do with the Google Pixel Buds app:
- Check battery levels
- Learn how to use touch controls
- Turn on/off Adaptive Sound
- Turn on/off in-ear detection
- Ring your earbuds to help find them
- Control your Assistant and spoken notifications
- Get tips & support
Note: This app is for Google Pixel Buds (2nd Gen)
From the looks of that list, all the great things we expected the Pixel Buds to do in conjunction with the Pixel line of phones look to be on the way for all Android phones running 6.0 and up. That’s huge! While these earbuds were already going to be great for most users, this level of inclusion will take them to the next level. Before today, I honestly hoped that they would provide at least a decent experience for OnePlus or Samsung phone users, but I wasn’t sure how that would actually shake out. Without the things that set the Pixel Buds apart from the competition like adaptive sound, instant pairing, or in-ear detection, the Pixel Buds are a whole lot more similar to other earbuds on the market that are far less expensive.
Now that everyone gets to play along, I think this move will bode well for Google as they finally get these highly-anticipated accessories into the hands of users who’ve been waiting quite a long time for them. Where I would have expected decent sales of the Pixel Buds up until today, the fact that all Android users will be able to get the entire Google-y Pixel Buds experience on their handset of choice only makes the eventual arrival of these earbuds that much more tantalizing. I sincerely hope they have a bunch of them in stock, because the user base may have just increased exponentially because of this small-but-significant step. Now, let’s just make them available and get on with it, shall we?