Google Pixel Buds Gets New Tricks: Power It On, Skip Tracks Just By Tapping


The release of Google's wireless Pixel Buds — its answer to the Apple AirPods — was met with lukewarm reception.

While critics praised the attempt, they ultimately called the pair of headphones underwhelming, citing its odd construction and sound quality as two of its major flaws.

"The Pixel Buds are full of little flaws that make life with them a frustration. Yes, this is first generation hardware. But it's also coming from Google, which hasn't been shy about raising expectations for its new hardware division. For the Pixel Buds, at least, it's better to lower them," said The Verge in its review.

Google didn't give up on them. The Pixel Buds have gotten some new features lately, including Assistant-powered gesture controls, and just a few days ago, Google added the ability to customize which apps send spoken notifications. Now, Google is amping up the Pixel Buds' feature set even further.

New Gestures On Pixel Buds

The company is adding two new tap-based gestures, which are rolling out today and should arrive on all devices by early next week. First is the ability to turn the Pixel Buds on or off just by triple-tapping the right earbud, which, according to Google, is a much-requested feature.

The second is the ability to skip tracks while playing music by double-tapping. This feature, however, needs to be set up within the Pixel Buds settings in the Google Assistant app.

The double-tap-to-skip feature is only optional. Users may still be able to skip tracks by voice commands, even when the gesture enabled.

Switching Audio Sources On Pixel Buds

Bluetooth pairing is also another area that gets a major improvement. Now, it'll be a lot easier to jump from one audio source to another. Simply select them from the menu of any paired Bluetooth device, and the Pixel Buds will drop the current connection and switch to the new one. This is how most Bluetooth system works, so it's not clear why Google didn't have it in place with the Pixel Buds from day one. In any case, it's here now.

Again, all these updates should be rolling out now. They're not exactly Earth-shattering improvements, but they should make the Pixel Buds experience slightly better for those who already forked out $160 for a pair.

Do you have a pair of Google Pixel Buds? Do you think the new gestures make it more useful? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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