Android 13 to revive Chromecast targets in audio switcher

Android 13 to revive Chromecast targets in audio switcher

It looks like Google is finally ready to bring Chromecast devices a little closer to Android itself. With Android 13, Google seems to be preparing Chromecast support to be a native part of the system audio toggle.

For nearly a decade, Android users have been able to cast audio from apps and the system itself to Chromecast devices. That includes Google Chromecast streamers, Cast-compatible speakers like the Nest Mini, Android TV devices, and more, but connecting to those devices generally only worked in the respective apps, not in Android itself. It’s a frustrating user experience, especially since Android supports an “audio switcher” since Android 10.

It used to be thought so the audio switcher would support Chromecast devices in Android 11, but it never appeared.

As observed by Mishaal Rahman on EsperGoogle appears to be reviving this effort.

A new version of the Google Cast SDK opens up this option, but requires apps to allow it. When enabled, Chromecast targets on your network appear in the audio switcher, then let you switch playback between your phone’s speakers, Bluetooth devices, and Chromecast targets everything from one user interface.

Google explains:

Output Switcher is a feature of the Cast SDK that enables seamless transfer between local and remote content playback starting with Android 13. The goal is to help sender apps easily and quickly control where content is played.

This was tested using some tweaks to the open source Universal Android Music Player app, as seen below.

It’s still not entirely clear why Android 13 is necessary for this feature, as Google apparently pushed for it to return in Android 11.

But beyond that, there’s also mention of “Stream Expansion” coming to the audio switcher in Android 13. This would allow users to connect their stream to more “remote” audio targets, meaning Chromecast-compatible devices.

Unfortunately, both of these features still appear to be unfinished. It looks like the Stream Expansion needs a further Google Play Services update, while the Output Switch will need an app update overtime. Either way, this is pretty exciting to see!

More on Android 13:

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#Android #revive #Chromecast #targets #audio #switcher

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