Google has announced its CES 2022 plan which focuses on building an across-devices compatibility Android ecosystem so that users can easily and quickly connect to multiple devices.
If the sounds familiar because the proposed functionality is what Apple already offers to its users. Like, the convenience of fair pairing AirPods to iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPlay iPhone’s content on Apple TV or switching to HomePod mini from an iPhone to continue playing a favorite track. Google is also working on improving cloud syncing capabilities on Android and other platforms like Apple’s iCloud service to automatically sync users’ data across devices.
Google’s new compatibility features mirror Apple’s across-devices integration to set up, unlock, and fast pair Android and Google devices
In the announcement post, the company explains that the number of smartdevices in an average American household rose from 11 in 2019 to 25 in 2021. Therefore, it is building a more compatible ecosystem, like Apple’s, for users to easily and quickly connect Android, Chromebooks, and other Google devices. Here are all the new compatibility features coming to Android and Chromebook:
Expanding Android Fast Pair functionality with Bluetooth accessories to Chromebook
Rolling out in the next few weeks, Chromebooks will be able to automatically detect and pair with Fast Pair-enabled headphones with a single click. The capability will also be available with wearables, headphones, speakers, and cars and extending it to TVs and smart home devices in the future.
Later this year, users will be able to quickly set up their new Chromebook via their Android phone.
Quickly unlock compatible cars, Chromebooks, and Android
In the coming months, Wear OS smartwatches will be able to unlock Android phones, tablets, and Chromebooks in close proximately.
Later this year, Android phones with Ultra-Wideband tech will be able to unlock compatible cars without taking out the phone and to share their digital car key with friends and family.
Automatic audio switching and spatial audio support for Bluetooth-enabled headphones
For Bluetooth-enabled headphones, Google is building new tech to automatically switch the audio across devices.
So if you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done.
In the next few months, support Bluetooth-enabled headphones will feature spatial audio support to offer an immersive surround-sound listening experience. Furthermore, Chromecast’s built-in support will be expanded to more brands, starting with all Bose smart speakers and soundbars in the coming months.
Updated Phone Hub and Google Assistant
Later this year, the Phone Hub will be updated with the capability to access Android phones’ chats and photos directly from Chromebook, even when the phone is not in the same room as the computer.
In addition, Google Assistant will be updated with new remote actions to allow users to control certain features of the vehicle before leaving their homes. The new capabilities will be available first from Volvo cars in the coming months.
With remote actions, you can use your voice to warm up and cool down your car, lock and unlock and get information (like how much battery you have left) on all Assistant-enabled devices.
Better compatibility between Android and Windows PCs
Google is working on improved compatibility between Android and Windows PCs and for the first time later this year, Acer, HP, and Intel computers will offer Fast Pair feature for Android to quickly connect Bluetooth accessories, sync messages, and do more.
This is great news for Android users who have always wanted the level of ecosystem integration that Apple offers. However, due to the fragmentation of Android, and multiple OEMs, implementation of these features might take longer than expected.