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Companion device pairing

On devices running Android 8.0 (API level 26) and higher, companion device pairing performs a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi scan of nearby devices on behalf of your app without requiring the ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION permission. This helps maximize user privacy protections. After the device is paired, the device can leverage the REQUEST_COMPANION_RUN_IN_BACKGROUND and REQUEST_COMPANION_USE_DATA_IN_BACKGROUND permissions to start the app from the background. Use this method to perform the initial configuration of the companion device, such as a BLE-capable smart watch.

Companion device pairing doesn't create connections on its own. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity APIs establish connections. Nor does companion device pairing enable continuous scanning.

A user can select a device from a list and grant it permission to access an app. These permissions are revoked if you uninstall the app or call disassociate(). An app is responsible for clearing its own associations if the user no longer needs them, such as when they log out or remove bonded devices.

Implement companion device pairing

To make and manage a connection to a companion device, use the CompanionDeviceManager. This section explains how to customize your pairing request dialog when you pair your app with companion devices over Bluetooth, BLE, and Wi-Fi.

Specify companion devices

The following code sample shows how to add the <uses-feature> flag to a manifest file. This tells the system that your app intends to set up companion devices.

<uses-feature android:name="android.software.companion_device_setup"/>

List devices by type

You can display all possible companion devices available that match the filter you provide, or limit the display to a single option. You configure this by creating a filter that specifies what types of devices your app is looking for or by setting setSingleDevice() to true.

To apply a filter to the list of companion devices that appears in your request dialog, check if Bluetooth is on or check if Wi-Fi is on. After a connection is enabled, you can add a DeviceFilter. The following subclasses of DeviceFilter specify the types of devices your app can associate with based on a connection type:

All three subclasses have builders that streamline the configuration of filters. In the following example, a device scans for a Bluetooth device with a BluetoothDeviceFilter.

Kotlin

val deviceFilter: BluetoothDeviceFilter = BluetoothDeviceFilter.Builder()
        // Match only Bluetooth devices whose name matches the pattern.
        .setNamePattern(Pattern.compile("My device"))
        // Match only Bluetooth devices whose service UUID matches this pattern.
        .addServiceUuid(ParcelUuid(UUID(0x123abcL, -1L)), null)
        .build()

Java

BluetoothDeviceFilter deviceFilter = new BluetoothDeviceFilter.Builder()
        // Match only Bluetooth devices whose name matches the pattern.
        .setNamePattern(Pattern.compile("My device"))
        // Match only Bluetooth devices whose service UUID matches this pattern.
        .addServiceUuid(new ParcelUuid(new UUID(0x123abcL, -1L)), null)
        .build();

Set a DeviceFilter to an AssociationRequest so the device manager can determine what type of device to seek.

Kotlin

val pairingRequest: AssociationRequest = AssociationRequest.Builder()
        // Find only devices that match this request filter.
        .addDeviceFilter(deviceFilter)
        // Stop scanning as soon as one device matching the filter is found.
        .setSingleDevice(true)
        .build()

Java

AssociationRequest pairingRequest = new AssociationRequest.Builder()
        // Find only devices that match this request filter.
        .addDeviceFilter(deviceFilter)
        // Stop scanning as soon as one device matching the filter is found.
        .setSingleDevice(true)
        .build();

After you initialize an AssociationRequest, run the associate() function on the CompanionDeviceManager. The associate() function takes in pairing request object and callback. Callbacks indicate when an app locates a device and it's ready to launch a dialog box for the user to input their choice. If an app doesn't find any devices, the callback returns an error message.

Kotlin

val deviceManager =
      requireContext().getSystemService(Context.COMPANION_DEVICE_SERVICE)

deviceManager.associate(pairingRequest,
    object : CompanionDeviceManager.Callback() {
        // Called when a device is found. Launch the IntentSender so the user
        // can select the device they want to pair with.
        override fun onDeviceFound(chooserLauncher: IntentSender) {
            startIntentSenderForResult(chooserLauncher,
                SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE, null, 0, 0, 0)
        }

        override fun onFailure(error: CharSequence?) {
            // Handle the failure.
        }
    }, null)

Java

CompanionDeviceManager deviceManager =
        (CompanionDeviceManager) getSystemService(Context.COMPANION_DEVICE_SERVICE);
deviceManager.associate(pairingRequest, new CompanionDeviceManager.Callback() {
    // Called when a device is found. Launch the IntentSender so the user can
    // select the device they want to pair with.
    @Override
    public void onDeviceFound(IntentSender chooserLauncher) {
        try {
            startIntentSenderForResult(
                    chooserLauncher, SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE, null, 0, 0, 0
            );
        } catch (IntentSender.SendIntentException e) {
            Log.e("MainActivity", "Failed to send intent");
        }
    }

    @Override
    public void onFailure(CharSequence error) {
        // Handle the failure.
    }
}, null);

To empower users to select what type of devices they want to connect to, start a preferences activity with the chooserLauncher parameter in the onDeviceFound() function. The results of this action are sent back to the fragment in the onActivityResult() function of your preferences activity. This updates you when the user makes a selection based on the result. You can then access the selected device. When a user selects a Bluetooth device, the result sent is a BluetoothDevice object. Similarly, when the onDeviceFound() function detects that a user selects a Bluetooth LE device, expect an android.bluetooth.le.ScanResult object. For Wi-Fi devices, expect a android.net.wifi.ScanResult object.

Kotlin

override fun onActivityResult(requestCode: Int, resultCode: Int, data: Intent?) {
    when (requestCode) {
        SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE -> when(resultCode) {
            Activity.RESULT_OK -> {
                // The user chose to pair the app with a Bluetooth device.
                val deviceToPair: BluetoothDevice? =
data?.getParcelableExtra(CompanionDeviceManager.EXTRA_DEVICE)
                deviceToPair?.let { device ->
                    device.createBond()
                    // Continue to interact with the paired device.
                }
            }
        }
        else -> super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data)
    }
}

Java

@Override
protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, @Nullable Intent data) {
    if (resultCode != Activity.RESULT_OK) {
        return;
    }
    if (requestCode == SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE && data != null) {
        BluetoothDevice deviceToPair =
data.getParcelableExtra(CompanionDeviceManager.EXTRA_DEVICE);
        if (deviceToPair != null) {
            deviceToPair.createBond();
            // Continue to interact with the paired device.
        }
    } else {
        super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);
    }
}

To implement companion device pairing with filters that can specify devices and list them by type, see the following example:

Kotlin

private const val SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE = 0

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {

    private val deviceManager: CompanionDeviceManager by lazy {
        getSystemService(Context.COMPANION_DEVICE_SERVICE) as CompanionDeviceManager
    }

    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main)

        // To skip filters based on names and supported feature flags (UUIDs),
        // omit calls to setNamePattern() and addServiceUuid()
        // respectively, as shown in the following  Bluetooth example.
        val deviceFilter: BluetoothDeviceFilter = BluetoothDeviceFilter.Builder()
            .setNamePattern(Pattern.compile("My device"))
            .addServiceUuid(ParcelUuid(UUID(0x123abcL, -1L)), null)
            .build()

        // The argument provided in setSingleDevice() determines whether a single
        // device name or a list of them appears.
        val pairingRequest: AssociationRequest = AssociationRequest.Builder()
            .addDeviceFilter(deviceFilter)
            .setSingleDevice(true)
            .build()

        // When the app tries to pair with a Bluetooth device, show the
        // corresponding dialog box to the user.
        deviceManager.associate(pairingRequest,
            object : CompanionDeviceManager.Callback() {

                override fun onDeviceFound(chooserLauncher: IntentSender) {
                    startIntentSenderForResult(chooserLauncher,
                        SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE, null, 0, 0, 0)
                }

                override fun onFailure(error: CharSequence?) {
                    // Handle the failure.
                }
            }, null)
    }

    override fun onActivityResult(requestCode: Int, resultCode: Int, data: Intent?) {
        when (requestCode) {
            SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE -> when(resultCode) {
                Activity.RESULT_OK -> {
                    // The user chose to pair the app with a Bluetooth device.
                    val deviceToPair: BluetoothDevice? =
                        data?.getParcelableExtra(CompanionDeviceManager.EXTRA_DEVICE)
                    deviceToPair?.let { device ->
                        device.createBond()
                        // Maintain continuous interaction with a paired device.
                    }
                }
            }
            else -> super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data)
        }
    }
}

Java

class MainActivityJava extends AppCompatActivity {

    private static final int SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE = 0;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        CompanionDeviceManager deviceManager =
            (CompanionDeviceManager) getSystemService(
                Context.COMPANION_DEVICE_SERVICE
            );

        // To skip filtering based on name and supported feature flags,
        // don't include calls to setNamePattern() and addServiceUuid(),
        // respectively. This example uses Bluetooth.
        BluetoothDeviceFilter deviceFilter = 
            new BluetoothDeviceFilter.Builder()
                .setNamePattern(Pattern.compile("My device"))
                .addServiceUuid(
                    new ParcelUuid(new UUID(0x123abcL, -1L)), null
                )
                .build();

        // The argument provided in setSingleDevice() determines whether a single
        // device name or a list of device names is presented to the user as
        // pairing options.
        AssociationRequest pairingRequest = new AssociationRequest.Builder()
            .addDeviceFilter(deviceFilter)
            .setSingleDevice(true)
            .build();

        // When the app tries to pair with the Bluetooth device, show the
        // appropriate pairing request dialog to the user.
        deviceManager.associate(pairingRequest,
            new CompanionDeviceManager.Callback() {
                @Override
                public void onDeviceFound(IntentSender chooserLauncher) {
                    try {
                        startIntentSenderForResult(chooserLauncher,
                            SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE, null, 0, 0, 0);
                    } catch (IntentSender.SendIntentException e) {
                        // failed to send the intent
                    }
                }

                @Override
                public void onFailure(CharSequence error) {
                    // handle failure to find the companion device
                }
            }, null);
    }

    @Override
    protected void onActivityResult(int requestCode, int resultCode, @Nullable Intent data) {
        if (requestCode == SELECT_DEVICE_REQUEST_CODE) {
            if (resultCode == Activity.RESULT_OK && data != null) {
                BluetoothDevice deviceToPair = data.getParcelableExtra(
                    CompanionDeviceManager.EXTRA_DEVICE
                );

                if (deviceToPair != null) {
                    deviceToPair.createBond();
                    // ... Continue interacting with the paired device.
                }
            }
        } else {
            super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data);
        }
    }
}

The following image shows the dialog box that appears.

Figure 1. The Companion Device Pairing screen