Android 9 (Pie) has been released!


#1

Android’s latest operating system is now live as an OTA release for Google Pixels and a few other devices.
It supposedly contains to a new Bluetooth Profile for hearing aids and a Hearing Aid Manager. I have had the update for a couple of hours but have as yet not found HA Mgr . If it’s there, it seems to be buried in some obscure location. There is a new method for turning on “Accessibility Settings” but I don’t see any other additions. I have tried to pair OPN 1’s by opening and closing the battery doors while the phone is searching for a new bluetooth pairing, but No luck. Hopefully Google will clarify this shortly.


#2

I have Pie installed on my Pixel 2 XL via adb sideload of the OTA, and cannot find any hearing aid references in Bluetooth or Accessibility menus either.


#3

I, too, was hopeful to see HA support with the release today. But I also see a few “major” additions (Digital Wellbeing and “Slices”) of Android 9 weren’t included and will roll out “in the Fall”. I’m sure it’ll take some time to get HA manufacturers the code and subsequently for them to include it in a future HA firmware upgrade.


#4

The first audi I saw is a techno-geek as well. He called a couple HA suppliers and asked about the rumored Android support. All they would say is that they were already working closely with Google (as they do with Apple) on the changes. They would offer no future dates, or even if it would be a firmware upgrade or new hardware entirely.


#5

Android is so fragmented. I’m starting to think they really don’t care to resolve the issue. HA brands can still sell you their streaming devices too. A win for them.


#6

The hearing aid support not only has to be ready on the Android side, the hearing aid mfgs must also enable it for Android on their side as well, just like they enable it for the iOS and for their standard Bluetooth intermediary streaming device and their TV Adapter.

It’s not like the hearing aid will automagically be seen, unless the hearing aid mfg takes action to make it visible to the Android system and already incorporates the Android communication protocols into their hearing aids. Most likely in the form of a firmware update.


#7

Or unless they reverse engineer MFi.


#8

The expectation of hearing aid support in Android P was fueled by one technology journalist’s assumption that because there was code being written, it must be aimed at the next major release. That happened to be ‘P’. I never really believed it. I’ve said before- and I still believe- that Google is preparing for the eventual release of an official Bluetooth Hearing Aid profile. That might be next week or it might be two years away.


#9

This is what I have been following on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) site,
https://android-review.googlesource.com/c/platform/frameworks/base/+/549481
https://android-review.googlesource.com/c/platform/system/bt/+/546902/
https://android-review.googlesource.com/q/topic:enable-hearing-aid-only-for-pixel+(status:open+OR+status:merged)

I “work” as a Recognized Contributor in the XDA Developers site, and they posted this.

XDA-devs is an Android Developers site, more than just a “technology journalist” since they are reading code commits, and many members write and release programs on Google Play Store.

I have known a young guy for about 12 years via the local mountain bike community that I volunteer with, watched him go from high school though Cal Poly State University, and now he works at Google. I see him frequently, since his parents are here in SLO, only 150 miles from Mountain View. He has told me that Google reverse engineered the MFI years ago, looking at how it works and trying to work around it. He is not with the BT HA group, so no hard and fast info.

Now we wait for October with the Google Product Event that will release the Pixel 3 phones and the final Android Pie features.


#10

No offense to him or his technical knowledge in the Android sphere. Not sure how much he knows about hearing aids (he said in the comments that he doesn’t have one himself). I still think the ‘P’ release was a guesstimate. Other sites seem to have taken it as gospel. Great if it is sooner rather than later.

Awesome.


#11

Not sure if this is too small to be read here, but the internal Google docs certainly leave no doubt as to the hearing aid Bluetooth profile. Initially, shows the profile disabled for all platforms except Pixel.
Next line:
Enable Hearing Aid Profile for Pixel 2’s and Pixel


#12

Anybody hear anything more on this (hearing aid support in Android)? Just got Android Pie on my Nokia 6.1 and don’t see anything about hearing aids. Pixel 2 and 3 owners, anything new on any Pie updates?


#13

No, nothing. I’m watching this very closely, keeping my Pixel 2 XL up to date. I have a thread on XDA Developers, and keep checking the Android Developer pages on this feature.All have seen is that the ReSound Quattro and Android software both need a “future software update” to enable this feature,

This article is the most recent info I can find on this:


#14

Thanks. Doesn’t sound anytime soon. The only thing definitive was that the Quattros should get the feature when it’s made available. Although some have mentioned seeing it mentioned in Pie code, there doesn’t seem to be a commitment to have it available in any Pie update. Maybe Android Q?


#15

Guessing what Google will do is impossible. Through the years I have seen vaporware announcements like this that never materialized. I’ve seen many services stopped and removed.

When it became clear that one would need at minimum the ReSound Quattro when (and if) this rolls out. Having just gotten my ReSound Forte 8 aids, I could not make the logical jump to spend an additional $5K with the hope that this would actually happen with Google and ReSound.

Given that fact, I made the choice to go MFI (as most here know) with the option to switch back to Android and new HAs in two to three years. At this time I made the best choice for me to have the most satisfying hearing aid experience with a smartphone and smartwatch.


#16

Thanks. Yeah, if you want connectivity, iPhone seems like a no brainer. Even when Resound and Google pull this off (or Phonak’s Marvel shows up), if mFI offers any foreshadowing, there will be plenty of glitches.