Android bridges the gap with Apple with this new feature

Google is launching another new feature to switch between all files android Devices make your life a little easier. Media notifications advertised on CES, it will allow you to transfer audio content from the car to the phone, headphones, phone and smart home devices based on proximity. It’s Google’s latest effort to bring its Android ecosystem on par with Apple’s when it comes to connectivity and coherence between devices.

The way Apple products seamlessly communicate with one another has helped it become the world’s second largest smartphone maker and best seller of smartwatches and wireless earbuds. The launch of Media Notifications is Google’s latest attempt to show that products don’t have to be made by the same company to work together. Google has been heading towards this goal for years by offering features like Phone Hub, Close share And Quick pairing. Additions like this are even more important now that Android and iOS have a much larger presence in our cars, ears, and wrists.

“This is an ongoing investment,” Eric Kay, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android, told CNET exclusively ahead of CES. “We’re getting to the point where pretty much any feature that appears on a phone or that appears on a watch becomes a multi-device feature over time.”

Spotify and YouTube Music will be among the first apps compatible with media notifications. Google is also working with Spotify to enable playback management between Spotify Connect devices Android 13 New Media Player – Another step to improve consistency across Android devices.

Google has not yet said when any of these updates will be released, nor has it said which products media notifications will be compatible with. But since the goal is to make it easier to navigate between devices, Google says users likely won’t have to do any work in the Settings menu to enable media notifications. Prompts should appear automatically as soon as you approach a compatible device.

“It all happens naturally through alerts and small prompts in the user interface,” Kay said when describing how media notifications work.

Media notifications will not require Ultra broadband, a communication protocol that has made its way to new premium smartphones over the past three to four years, as it relies on signals from various sources such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. But it will likely work more accurately if you’re using a UWB-enabled device, according to Kay. Because UWB can provide accurate proximity calculations, its presence in phones improves tasks such as sharing files and content between devices and digital car key functionality. It’s also the same technology Apple uses to point you in the right direction for your missing AirTag.

“UWB is something we are very excited about,” Kay said. “But it’s one of those things that’s going to take a long time to become ubiquitous in the marketplace.”

An illustration showing what Google's new media notifications feature could look like.

An illustration showing what Google’s new media notifications feature could look like.

The Google

Google’s announcements come after Apple has gradually added new connectivity features to its ecosystem of iPhones, iPads, AirPods, Apple Watch, and Macs. Apple brought the ability to switch FaceTime calls between your iPhone, iPad and Mac on the latest OS updates, for example. The ability to transfer audio from your iPhone to a file HomePod Mini Based on proximity was also a notable feature when Apple introduced the mini speaker in 2021.

But unlike Apple, Google doesn’t use features like media notifications to push first-party devices. Instead, Google wants to make switching between Android devices feel consistent and easy whether you’re using products from Google, Samsung, JBL, or any of their other partners.

It’s a goal Google must balance alongside promoting its own Pixel devices, which only represent a small slice of the global smartphone market. You might be wondering why Google doesn’t just keep features like Media Notifications exclusive to Pixel phones, Pixel earbuds and Nest smart home devices to make its devices stand out in the Android landscape. If Google wanted to emulate Apple’s ecosystem approach, this would certainly be one way to do it.

The answer is simple: such improvements are only useful if they are available everywhere.

“Every feature you create is a network effect feature, so it relies on having a variety of devices to support the feature,” Kay said. So if you build something [and] Try to make it exclusive to one device, one partner, or even our first party stuff, it won’t work because there aren’t many devices to work with. ”

As smartwatches and wireless earphones become more popular, phone makers like Apple and Samsung have increasingly focused on these add-on products as complementary selling points for their smartphones. Global shipments of smartwatches grew 13% year over year in 2022, according to Counterpoint Research, while Canalys notes that true wireless earbuds were the only personal audio category to show growth in Q3 2022. Google is the latest handset maker Smarts jump on that bandwagon and launched their first smartwatch, the Pixel Watch, in October Google plans to introduce a new Pixel tablet next year.

Making watches, earbuds, and smart home devices work together more seamlessly is not just about convenience. Some experts believe that such accessories will play a huge role in the future of the smartphone as annual phone upgrades feel more and more.

“The smartphone’s next quest is to see what it will connect to next,” Runar Pirovdi, an analyst with market research firm Canalys, said in a previous interview for a separate story. “Because the smartphone hasn’t necessarily reached its potential yet, but as a standalone device I think the smartphone is getting closer and closer to the edge.”

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