Android could soon show how much battery your wireless headphones have left
Google is going to make it a bit easier to check the battery level on Bluetooth devices connected to your phone. As spotted by XDA Developers, the Android Open Source Project has added support for “[retrieving] battery level information of [a] remote device.”
When this makes its way to a full Android release, it should allow an Android phone to display the battery level of any connected Bluetooth headphones, speakers, or other accessories. Those devices will have to be set up to share their battery information, though, so this feature likely won’t work with many products at first.
It’s not clear how long it’ll take Google to bring this feature from Android’s open-source development into a polished feature. But a member of Android O’s engineering team suggested it’s in the works during a Reddit QA earlier this month, saying, “We’re looking at this and are happy to report that some of our hardware manufacturing partners already support this.”
As the engineer seems to be pointing out, some Android phones already support this feature. XDA Developers notes that Samsung, LG, OnePlus, and more have all built custom support into their phones for showing Bluetooth devices’ battery levels. So this is a case where Google is actually playing catch-up in a small way to the companies customizing Android.
It’s not entirely clear how Google will implement this either — whether battery indicators would appear as notifications, in the status bar, or someplace else. The setup seems to be flexible, allowing Google and perhaps even app developers to display more information on Bluetooth devices wherever they want.
Android O is already in a near-finalized state, so we’ll very likely have to wait for a later release to find out how Google plans to make the feature work. But with the next Pixel supposedly abandoning the headphone jack, a battery indicator sure sounds useful for the many people who’ll be switching over to wireless headphones.