Google Pixel Buds has lost exclusivity on its headline, with real-time translation spreading to a much larger selection of headsets with assisted-powered and wired headphones. Pixel Buds released last year, along with Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, as Google's retort for Apple's popular AirPods.
However, the reaction to Pixel Buds proved much more subdued. Google's headphones were less ergonomic out of the port than their Cupertino rivals, with a tethering cord that connects left and right earplugs. However, Pixel Buds had a trick that AirPods could not match.
It was a real-time translation. Activate the function of Pixel 2 and the earplugs will provide a direct translation of speech discreetly into your ears. It was not quite "universal translator" of science fiction, but it was an impressive advance on Google Translate all the same.
At that time, Google said that the feature would be a Pixel exclusive. Now, however, it has clearly opened access to other hardware, both in the case of headphones and phones.
An update to Pixel Bud's support page, discovered by Droid-Life, details the new extension. "Google Translate is available on all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones," writes the document now. It also confirms the different languages the function supports.
This means, for example, that the USB-C headphones that Google includes in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL boxes can also deliver translations. It also means that if you have a set of Google Assistant-enabled headsets like the Sony WH-1
It undermines any of the boring reasons you might have purchased Pixel Buds, of course, and so far, Google shows no signs of replacing them with a second generation set. It was one of the rumors of the Pixel 3 event last week, but new wireless ear plugs were conspicuous by their absence.