Google's first-generation Pixel Buds didn't quite live up to their initial promise, but we're hoping the second-gen earbuds will represent a significant improvement. Announced at the Pixel 4 hardware event in October 2019, we've had to wait a while for them to eventually become available, but it looks like their release is almost upon us. A new app needed to make the most of them is now available on the Play Store.
Many Pixel owners are probably finding the app is being installed automatically on their phones today, and on those phones it won't open as a standalone app. It's baked into the Bluetooth audio settings on the Pixels and will only surface when you actually connect a pair of Pixel Buds. On other phones, such as the Find X2 Pro I've installed it on, opening it takes you to a landing page asking you to 'Pair your Pixel Buds' before you can use the app (below).
When you've got some Pixel Buds 2 (the original Pixel Buds are not supported) the app can be used to do the following things:
- 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 and support
Adaptive sound is an intriguing prospect that's supposed to change the volume level based on the noise in your surroundings. We'll have to see how well that works in lieu of active noise cancellation, which many rival earbuds now offer. All that's left now is for the new Pixel Buds to actually go on sale. Look out for our review when that happens to see whether or not they can cut it with the other top TWEs on the market right now.
If you want to stare at that sweet landing page in the meantime, you can install the Pixel Buds app via the Play Store or download it from APK Mirror.
- Chris Drysdale,