Cody saw the signs for its impending release a couple weeks back, and now it's live. Double-tap to advance tracks on the Pixel Buds is apparently working in the tediously-long firmware version 1.1767.6040.G1-61495-545, according to 9to5Google.
We first noticed signs of the upcoming behavior in our teardown for Google app v7.2.3. As Cody noted then, it was supposed to be customizable, allowing one to select between either advancing tracks or triggering the Assistant to read notifications, which is the present function. So far, 9to5Google notes the option to remap that control doesn't appear to be live just yet in the headphone settings page for Google Assistant, so YMMV.
Since advancing tracks previously required either voice controls via Assistant on the Buds or pulling out your phone to tap a button on a screen like some sort of troglodyte, the new addition should save a lot of time, and be far less embarrassing than talking to yourself on the subway.
We may have spoken too soon. We've received our own tip that this may not be the case and that it could be caused by a bug.
@corbindavenport you seem to check twitter fairly frequently, could you let @AndroidPolice & @RyneHager know that I believe the Pixel Buds article is falsely informed (https://t.co/XMab9VVDf9). Basically, a bug in g-assistant connection causes double tapping to skip (1/2)
— Daniel Stone (@danstoneyuk) March 19, 2018
Based on both our own reader's experiences and some discussion on the subject that happened on Reddit a month ago, as well as the fact that it was meant to be user-configurable via the Assistant app—which it currently isn't—it's highly likely that none of this is correct and we were misinformed.
We apologize for the error.
- Daniel Stone