How to pair Google Pixel Buds with iPhone

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Judit Llordés
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Google launched Pixel Buds in early October 2017. They come with the Google Assistant from the start and have native support for Google Translate, making them very attractive to Google users.

If you own an iPhone and want to pair it with a pair of Pixel Buds, you'll need to use the manual route, as the Quick Pair feature is for Android users only. In this article, we'll cover the installation process and go over some essential tips.

Minimum requirements and limitations

Before delving into the installation, a quick overview of the system requirements and limitations is required. In order to use a set of Pixel Buds with your iPhone, you will need to have a model running at least iOS 10.0 or newer.

Since these are Bluetooth headsets, an appropriate Bluetooth version is also required. According to the official specifications and requirements page, you will need an iPhone with at least version 4.0 of the protocol.

As for the limitations, you won't be able to use the Google Assistant with your Pixel Buds on your iPhone. This feature is only supported on Android devices running Android Nougat and later.

Since the ability to use Google Translate with Pixel Buds depends on whether or not the device has the Google Assistant, you won't be able to use this service on your iPhone.

To use the Pixel Buds you will need a Google account. If you haven't already, now is a good time to create one. You will also need to download the latest available version of the Google app.

While you won't have access to Google Assistant and Google Translate, you'll be able to take full advantage of the Pixel Buds' gesture controls. You will also be able to use them like any other Bluetooth headset.

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The setup

The manual setup path takes a little longer than the quick pairing path, but you should be able to enjoy your brand new Pixel Buds in minutes.

Here's how to connect your iPhone with your new earphones.

  1. If you haven't already, you should unpack the earbuds. You must remove the protective film, if any, before proceeding to the next step.
  2. After removing the protective film, you should leave the gems inside and close the case. It is important to charge the gems a little before installation, especially if they are brand new. You should charge them for at least 10 minutes; which should give you enough charge for the installation.
  3. If you've used your sprouts before, check the battery status. In case you see a single orange indicator, the power level is too low and your friends cannot pair with your iPhone. Charge them until the orange LED turns white. The white LED should also pulsate.
  4. Google advises novice users to read the official safety guide to make sure you are charging the earbuds correctly. You can also find this information in the printed guide included in the Pixel Buds box.
  5. When the Pixel Buds are sufficiently charged, you should turn on Bluetooth on your iPhone. Tap the Settings app icon on your smartphone's Home screen. Tap the Bluetooth section. Finally, tap the slide switch next to the Bluetooth option to turn it on.

You should see the list of available devices when Bluetooth is up and running. Browse the list for Pixel Buds and tap on them. Wait a few moments for the devices to pair.

How to reconnect your friends

If your iPhone and Pixel Buds lose their connection for any reason, there are two main ways to reconnect them. If they are in your ears, you should double tap the right one. If they are in the carrying and charging case, you should open it, take out the sprouts and double-tap the right sprout.

If you are unable to reconnect the earbuds and phone in this way, you can always try resetting the Bluetooth or restarting the phone and earbuds.

Multiple connections

You can pair a set of Pixel Buds with up to eight devices. To connect them to another phone or any Bluetooth-enabled device, follow these steps:

  1. Put your Pixel Buds in their charging case.
  2. When you see the green LED, press and hold the button inside the case for three seconds. This way the sprouts will switch to association mode.
  3. Turn on Bluetooth on the device you want to sync with the Pixel Buds and pair the two devices.

You can switch between devices on the fly. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Bluetooth menu on the device you want to switch to.
  2. Search for available devices.
  3. Choose Pixel Buds from the list.

Pixel Buds will automatically connect to that device.

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How to turn them off

There are two ways to turn off Pixel Buds. The easy way is to tap the right bud three times. You can also use this gesture to wake them up. The alternative process is covered in the following steps.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your iPhone's Home screen.
  2. Go to the Bluetooth section of the menu.
  3. Browse the list of devices and tap the Pixel Buds info button.
  4. Tap the Disconnect option.

Basic gestures

Here is a brief overview of the basic gesture commands. Note that you will only touch and swipe the right earbud. With just one touch, you can answer a call. Android users can also confirm their choices in the Assistant app. A single tap can also pause and play media files.

A double tap stops the Assistant and allows the user to listen to his notifications. Triple taps are used to wake up and put your Bud Buds to sleep. A touch-and-hold gesture ends calls and ignores incoming calls. A forward blow increases the volume, while a backward blow lowers it.

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Further Reading:

  • Also launched Google Pixel Buds 2 with 24 hour battery life
  • How to pair Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro with iPhone, Windows and MacBook
  • How to set up Galaxy Buds with your Galaxy S10 or other devices
  • How to connect Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus to laptops, iPhones and other devices
  • How to connect Samsung headphones to PC

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