Google finally jumped on the wireless earbuds bandwagon last year with the Pixel Buds. While they got things like comfort and sound quality right, they didn't do well in terms of connectivity and battery. While Google isn't completely changing either of those things, it's making it easier in Android 12 to know when your buds will run out of charge.
Google has always displayed the percentage of battery remaining, but a user has spotted (via 9to5Google) the companion "app" showing the remaining battery in terms of time.
As seen in the screenshot above, the battery percentage for both earbuds is accompanied by the time they're expected to last before dying. We're not sure why the remaining time is different despite both buds being charged 100%, but this could be due to the difference in battery health of the individual buds. In our review of the Pixel Buds, battery life was often inconsistent across each unit, which could be resulting in the time split in these screenshots.
This isn't the first time this feature has been spotted in the wild. The earliest report goes back to over three months ago, making it seem like Google is still testing this out. But for what it's worth, a user on Reddit claims that he had the same feature working with his OnePlus Buds.
Due to lack of further evidence, we're not completely sure if this is a feature exclusive to Pixel Buds (seems more likely with the evidence we have) or an Android feature that will work with other accessories too. With Google's much-leaked Pixel Buds A-series seemingly ready for launch — not to mention three additional Android 12 betas planned for this summer — it hopefully won't be too long until we know whether this is Pixel-exclusive or a big leap in how Android pairs with your Bluetooth headphones.