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Pixel Buds Showing Hours of Remaining Battery on Android 12

The last Pixel Buds update with a changelog was in September, and it included a patch for audio cutouts, followed by a feature release the month before. On Android 12, one upcoming new feature for the Buds may be seeing the remaining battery life in hours. The battery life for each part can now be shown as a percentage in the Buds companion app.

From the beginning, this has been the case. At least one user can now see how many hours of battery life are left on their computer. It seems to be below the battery percentage for the left and right buds, but this is not the case. We can see how the calculation varies between components charged to 100% in the screenshots below.

This may be due to battery health or to people’s long-held findings that charge drained differently in different buds. With the person experiencing it on Android 12 Beta 1, we have not been able to get this hours/minutes-based battery life estimate to appear on our system (stable or preview). Meanwhile, their Pixel Buds are running firmware 553 from February (with no changelog) and the companion client version 1.0.367372739. This capability may be in the process of being A/B tested by Google.

For phones and tablets, Android has long supported a similar time-based calculation. Pixel Buds provide owners with a more actionable piece of knowledge than the percentage. Most people are probably aware that the headphones have five-hour battery life. This may be an Android 12 feature for Bluetooth accessories, but reliable, hardware-specific estimates would undoubtedly require some degree of accessory-maker integration.

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