Google just updated its Pixel Buds so that they respond to more gestures.
When you use Pixel Buds with your Pixel phone, or any other Android device with the Assistant, you can touch and hold the right earbud to ask for your favourite playlist, make a call, send a message, etc. You can also swipe forward or backward on the earbud to control volume, or tap to play or pause your music.
Now, Google is adding even more supported gestures via an over-the-air software update. They're called triple tap and double tap. Plus, there's a one-easy switch option. Here's how Google described these features:
- Triple tap: Pixel Buds can now be manually turned on or off by triple-tapping on the right earbud.
- Double tap: Until now, double tapping let you hear notifications as they arrived on your phone. Now, you can set double-tap to skip to the next track. To enable this, go to the Pixel Buds’ settings within the Google Assistant app on your phone and enable double-tap to skip to the next track. You can continue to use a Google Assistant voice command to skip tracks, even if you assign two taps to the “next” track feature.
- One easy switch: To switch your Pixel Buds connection between your phone and computer, select your Pixel Buds from the Bluetooth menu of the desired device. Your Pixel Buds will disconnect from the device you were using and connect to the new one.
Here's the thing: when we reviewed Pixel Buds, we weren't very impressed with the design of the earbuds themselves. But we did really like the Google Assistant implementation. It's easy to use and really fast. Just tap and talk. It's the feature we used the most, whether for transit times, to read the news, to check the weather, and reply to texts.
Pixel Buds offer a great Google Assistant experience. On the other hand, they're frustratingly designed, don't sound that great, and they don't deliver on the potential of their real-time translation headline feature. Still, if you have been waiting to get them, now's probably the time, as their new gestures should be available to all by next week.