Android Is Closing the Hole With Apple With This New Characteristic

Google is launching an additional new function to make switching concerning all the Android gadgets in your daily life a small less difficult. Media Notifications, introduced at CES, will let you transition audio written content from the vehicle to your cellphone, headphones, phone and good home devices centered on proximity. It truly is Google’s latest exertion to provide its Android ecosystem up to par with Apple’s when it will come to connectivity and cohesiveness among devices. 

The way Apple’s products seamlessly join to 1 an additional has helped it become the world’s second-most significant smartphone maker and the prime vendor of smartwatches and wireless earbuds. The launch of Media Notifications is Google’s hottest attempt to present that products and solutions really don’t have to be built by the similar business to work together. Google has been transferring toward this goal for yrs by introducing attributes like Mobile phone Hub, Close by Share and Rapid Pair. Additions like these have develop into all the much more vital now that Android and iOS have staked a greater presence in our cars and trucks, our ears and on our wrists. 

“This is an ongoing financial commitment,” Erik Kay, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android, explained to CNET exclusively ahead of CES. “We get to the place in which rather much any attribute that reveals up on the cell phone or displays up on a look at is going to inherently be a multi-unit function above time.” 

Spotify and YouTube Audio will be amid the 1st apps to be appropriate with Media Notifications. Google is also functioning with Spotify to make it feasible to regulate playback among Spotify Link equipment in Android 13’s new media player — a further transfer to increase consistency throughout Android units. 

Google has not yet said when possibly of these updates will launch, nor has it said which goods Media Notifications will be appropriate with. But because the target is to make shifting amongst equipment less complicated, Google suggests consumers probably will not have to do any legwork in the options menu to empower Media Notifications. Prompts should really just show up mechanically as you move nearer to a appropriate product.  

“That all transpires in a natural way through very little nudges and prompts in the consumer interface,” Kay stated when describing how Media Notifications will perform.

Media Notifications won’t require extremely wideband, a connectivity protocol that’s produced its way into new high quality smartphones over the previous three to four yrs, due to the fact it depends on indicators from different resources like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. But it will very likely get the job done much more properly if you are using a UWB-enabled gadget, according to Kay. Considering the fact that UWB can supply exact proximity calculations, its presence in phones improves responsibilities like sharing files and content concerning products and electronic automobile critical performance. It can be also the very same technology Apple makes use of to place you in the ideal direction of a lost AirTag.

“UWB is a little something we’re pretty fired up about,” claimed Kay. “But it is one particular of these things which is heading to choose a extended time for it to seriously get ubiquitous in the market place.” 

An illustration demonstrating what Google’s new Media Notifications attribute could appear like. 


Google’s bulletins arrive soon after Apple has been step by step incorporating new connectivity attributes to its ecosystem of iPhones, iPads, AirPods, Apple Watches and Macs. Apple introduced the capacity to swap FaceTime calls among your Apple iphone, iPad and Mac in its most recent operating program updates, for example. The ability to transfer audio from your Iphone to the HomePod Mini based on proximity was also a standout aspect when Apple introduced its miniature speaker in 2021. 

But as opposed to Apple, Google just isn’t applying attributes like Media Notifications to thrust its to start with get together components. Rather, Google desires to make swapping involving Android equipment experience consistent and uncomplicated whether you are applying products and solutions from Google, Samsung, JBL or any of its other partners. 

It is a aim that Google must balance together with advertising its possess Pixel devices, which only account for a sliver of the world-wide smartphone current market. You may possibly be questioning why Google would not just preserve attributes like Media Notifications exclusive to its Pixel phones, Pixel earbuds and Nest good dwelling devices to make its gadgets stand out in just the Android landscape. If Google needs to emulate Apple’s ecosystem technique, that would certainly be a single way to do so. 

The respond to is uncomplicated: Improvements like these are only beneficial if they are readily available almost everywhere. 

“Each element you develop is a network influence characteristic, so it relies upon on there getting a vast selection of gadgets to aid the characteristic,” Kay reported. “So if you make a little something [and] test to make it distinctive to one particular device, or one particular partner, or even our to start with bash factors, it is really not going to be as successful due to the fact there is not as lots of devices for it to operate with.” 

As smartwatches and wi-fi earbuds have developed extra well-known, telephone makers like Apple and Samsung have significantly centered on these ancillary items as complementary advertising points for their smartphones. World-wide shipments of smartwatches grew 13% year-in excess of-calendar year in 2022, according to Counterpoint Investigation, while Canalys studies that genuine wireless earbuds had been the only personalized audio category to clearly show expansion in the third quarter of 2022. Google is the most recent smartphone maker to jump on that bandwagon and introduced its very first smartwatch, the Pixel Observe, in October, Google ideas to introduce a new Pixel tablet following calendar year. 

Making watches, earbuds and smart dwelling units perform collectively extra seamlessly isn’t really just about ease. Some experts think that add-ons like these will engage in a big function in the smartphone’s long term as yearly cellular phone upgrades experience incremental. 

“The up coming quest for the smartphone is to determine out what it will connect to up coming,” Runar Bjørhovde, an analyst with sector study company Canalys, stated in a earlier job interview for a different story. “Mainly because the smartphone has not essentially achieved its likely yet, but as a standalone machine I imagine the smartphone is acquiring nearer and nearer to the edge.”