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Picture this: you’re in the car, blasting your ultimate hype-up song, wanting the good vibes to transfer straight to your earbuds or home speakers once you step out, but the multi-step process kills your mood.
If you can relate, I have good news. Android may have just cracked the code to a seamless streaming switch.
Also: Want the best Android phone? These are our top picks for the year
Today, at the CES showcase, Google announced its working with both Spotify and YouTube Music to create a dedicated notification system that allows users to quickly transfer music playback from device to device. Basically, listening from a car to wireless earbuds to a home speaker will be one pause-free experience.
Find all the exciting innovation from CES 2023 in this ZDNET special feature.
Android 13 gave us a taste of how the system worked when it first debuted its refreshed media player on an Android phone’s lock screen. The media player allows users to quickly select which Bluetooth or Chromecast built-in devices they want to play their current audio on, and is currently compatible with YouTube and YouTube Music.
Also: Android 13 is officially here. Only if you have the right kind of phone, that is
This year, Android has also been working with Spotify for users to leverage the new media player’s switching capabilities on third-party platforms.
Here’s a snapshot of how the notification will appear on screen.
Google says it’s also looking for a way to make its notification system a continuous audio remote so that you can start a podcast in your car, continue on your phone, and finish listening on your home TV. According to Google, users would receive notifications as they physically move from location to location, inviting them to transfer the audio source if another device is detected nearby.
According to Google, it’ll use UWB’s more accurate location detection tech — the same thing AirTags use to track — instead of just relying on ultra wide banded Bluetooth and WiFI connection.
Android has yet to give details about when exactly the notification system integration is set to launch nor the devices the continuous switching will be compatible with. What we do know is that unlike Apple, the compatible devices won’t be limited to just those in its exclusive arsenal.
We all know that a major selling point of Apple is its ability to inter-connect devices. Rather than just doing the same to compete, Google is casting an even wider net.
In a recent interview with our sister-site, CNET, Google’s VP of engineering for Android Erik Kay revealed that the purpose behind the improvement is to increase availability. To fulfill that mission, Google isn’t cutting off audio communication with just Android first-party devices, meaning you can connect to anything from a JBL speaker, Google Nest, or any other Google partner.
Google’s new media share system is a part of its cross-device sharing promotion we’ve been seeing recently with features like Fast Pair and Nearby Share. And as Google further taps into smartphone’s potential to easily cross-stream audio, it only seems fitting that it’s bringing in Spotify and YouTube music as part of their vision for a one-tech family.