Google preps Fast Pair low-battery notifications for styluses

Google preps Fast Pair low-battery notifications for styluses

Since its launch, Fast Pair has grown beyond Bluetooth headphones to smartwatches and Matter smart home devices. Fast Pair’s other device category appears to be styluses before the Pixel tablet.

About APK Insight: In this APK Insight post, we have decompiled the latest version of an app that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we are able to see different lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ship these features at times, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable the ones that are closer to completion, though, to show you what they’ll look like if they ship. With that in mind, read on.

The Pixel tablet will support USI pens, and just this week Android 13 QPR2 Beta 2 included some details about stylus charging notifications.

Google Play Services (for Wear OS, version 23.02.13) has now been updated with a three-string “fast_pair_stylus” for low-battery notifications that are similar to what you’ll get with Bluetooth headphones.

Battery is getting low \u2022 Consider charging it soon

Low battery \u2022 Charge soon

Very low battery \u2022 Charge now

It makes sense for Google to use the familiar quick couple battery alerts for the stylus category.

Meanwhile, an update to the Settings Services app, which powers the Pixel’s battery widget, this week added a generic “bt_stylus” icon. Nothing more obvious yet, but it does make sense to have the current percentage of a Pixel Tablet stylus displayed in the Battery widget.

Google will hopefully create a first-party Pixel stylus, pen or pencil for its upcoming tablet to provide a good end-to-end experience. How a hypothetical stylus would charge remains to be seen. A USB-C port on the pen would be too inelegant, so wireless is the way to go.

From what we’ve seen of the Pixel Tablet so far, there’s no clear charging surface on the side edges like the iPad Pro. Using the rear pins to charge the speakers would be physically difficult, resulting in a tilt when connected, while one option – purely speculative – could be that the thicker screen bezel hides a charger.

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