Google will soon remind you to clean your filthy Pixel Buds

Google will soon remind you to clean your filthy Pixel Buds

It’s been just over a year since Google released the Pixel Buds Pro, and in that time, hopefully, you’ve remembered to clean them on multiple occasions. If not, Google will soon remind you to clean your Pixel Buds so on a regular basis.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.


Like any other set of earbuds, the Pixel Buds are worn with the tips placed inside your ear canal. Because of that placement, they get dirty over time and absolutely need to be cleaned from time to time. If you haven’t cleaned your Pixel Buds recently (or ever!), consider this your first reminder.

Your next reminder, it seems, will come from Google itself. In the latest version of the Pixel Buds app – version 1.0.555017123, rolling out now via the Play Store – the company is preparing a new notification that will periodically suggest cleaning your earbuds. (Update: According to 9to5Google readers Mckillio and Callum, the notification is already beginning to appear for some, following the update.)

Setting aside the issue of hygiene, Google points out that cleaning your Pixel Buds ensures that you’re getting the best possible audio quality and reduces the chance of the buds not charging (because the charging pins can’t make good contact).

Time to clean your earbuds

Improves audio quality, charging, and access to updates

A similar notice will also appear within the Pixel Buds app (or within the Settings app if you’re on a Pixel phone).

Clean your earbuds

Improves audio quality and charging

Tapping on either of these notices will bring you to Google’s existing guide on how best to clean your earbuds and the charging case.

From what we can tell, Google isn’t using any special techniques – like that of the built-in seal check feature – to know when your Pixel Buds are dirty. Instead, the app keeps track of how long you’ve worn your earbuds and will suggest a cleaning every 120 hours. For avid listeners who wear their Pixel Buds through the entirety of each workday, that would be roughly three weeks of use.

But again, you don’t need to wait for Google to remind you to clean your Pixel Buds. You can – and probably should – clean them right now. We’ll wait.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.


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