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Android’s audio output switcher may soon let you pick cast devices, too

Android’s audio output switcher may soon let you pick cast devices, too


The functionality could allow you to swap playback sessions between your phone, TV, smart display, and more

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Pixel 7 and 7 Pro on a flat surface with screens facing up
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Google may soon start letting you pick from cast devices when using the audio output switcher on Android 13, according to Esper’s Mishaal Rahman. The output switcher, which was first introduced in Android 11, currently only lets you swap between media playback sessions on paired Bluetooth devices, such as wireless headphones or a speaker.

But an update to the Google Cast SDK (software development kit), suggests that Android 13’s output switcher could allow for local-to-remote, remote-to-local, and remote-to-remote transfers. As pointed out by Rahman, “local” refers to transfers involving paired Bluetooth devices, while “remote” refers to cast devices.

This should let you seamlessly transfer media sessions from your phone to a smart display and back again using the audio output switcher from your lock screen. You can see how this might look in a demo posted by Rahman, which also shows off an upcoming “stream expansion” feature that allows you to enable audio playback across multiple cast devices at once. Rahman experienced some bugs when trying out the functionality, so it doesn’t seem like it’s ready just yet.

Back in 2020, Google was working on adding support for cast devices in the output switcher, but for whatever reason, it was never finalized. Now that Google’s outlining the feature in developer documents, though, it looks like we could finally see it come to fruition in a future update.