The future of work is undoubtedly hybrid, with employees splitting their time between home and…
Google on Wednesday announced a series of upcoming updates to Android that aim to bring convenience and ease to users. One of the biggest changes is the extension of Fast Pair to TVs, Chromebooks, and smart home devices. The headphones will also have the ability to automatically switch audio from an Android device to a tablet seamlessly, Google announced. The company also announced a quick setup of Chromebooks with Android phones. Likewise, Smartwatches based on Wear OS will have the ability to unlock your Chromebook and Android devices.
Fast Pair has been in place for Android phones since November 2017 to allow users to quickly connect Bluetooth headphones with their smartphones. The proprietary standard aims to support Apple’s fast pairing technology and has reportedly helped people connect their Android phones with Bluetooth accessories more than 100 million times.
Google plans to extend Fast Pair to newer devices by partnering with various manufacturers and delivering new experiences.
As of a few weeks ago, Google said that users will be able to connect their Fast Pair compatible Bluetooth headphones to a Chromebook automatically with just one click when they are first turned on.
In addition to Chromebooks, Fast Pair will work with smart TVs based on the Google TV or Android TV platforms in the coming months to help users quickly connect their compatible headphones to their TVs, without going through a step-by-step process. .
Matter’s smart home devices will also benefit from Fast Pair support in the coming weeks. It will allow you to instantly connect smart home devices made by Matter to your network, Google Home and other related apps.
Google also revealed that it is developing technology for Bluetooth enabled headphones to allow them to automatically switch audio to the device you’re listening to. For example, if you wear your headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and receive a call on your phone in the middle of your viewing time, the movie will pause and the sound from the headphones will automatically switch to your Android phone. It will come back to your tablet once the call is disconnected.
Additionally, Google has announced that it will bring spatial audio support to headphones that work with Android devices in the coming months. This will allow the headphones to adapt the sound according to the movements of the head, the company said. Notably, Apple has supported spatial audio on its devices for some time.
Google also announced that users will be able to instantly set up a new Chromebook with their Android phone and provide immediate access to information such as Google ID and Wi-Fi password, without the user having to manually enter it on. the new material. The experiment will go live later this year, although Google has yet to detail what all Chromebook models and Android versions will receive the update.
Users will also have the option to unlock and access their Chromebook and Android phone or tablet using a paired Wear OS smartwatch when the devices are nearby. It looks like the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature that Apple introduced last year.
Chromebook users will also have the option, in the dedicated Phone Hub section, to view and reply to messages they receive on their Android phones directly from the larger screen of their computing device. It will be available later this year, the company said, without describing how that would enable the experience.
The Phone Hub will also include Camera Roll to allow users to access their most recent photos and videos on a Chromebook.
Google also announced the extension of Fast Pair to Windows PCs to allow users to quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages, and share files using the Nearby Share service. The update will first make its way to machines from Acer, HP, and Intel later this year.
Microsoft already has the Your Phone app to allow Android users to access their messages and notifications directly on Windows PCs.
To help users stream the music and podcasts they listen to on their phones to more powerful audio solutions, Google has revealed that it is working on integrating Chromecast soundbars and speakers. Bose will be the first brand to bring the new experience to its smart speakers and soundbars in the coming months.
Google last month introduced a digital car key feature that will use ultra-broadband (UWB) phones to unlock the car lock. It will initially be limited to Samsung and Google Pixel phones and will only work with BMW vehicles. However, Google has said digital car keys will work on more Android phones and vehicles later this year.
The Android maker also revealed it’s working on features, including asking Google Assistant to heat and cool a car, lock and unlock, get info including how much battery is left. These features will first be available for select Volvo Cars vehicles in the coming months, Google said.
Check out the latest news from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, in our CES 2022 hub.