Although Google skipped the in-person attendance at this year’s CES, the company has unveiled a slate of connectivity solutions that you should start seeing in the broader ecosystem in 2022. This includes things like extending support for Fast Pair on ChromeOS and Android/Google TV platform; digital car keys; spatial audio to headphones; and more.
Let’s cover them one by one.
Fast Pair coming to Chromebooks, Google/Android TV, and Windows
You might have used Fast Pair to quickly set up a wireless earphone. It is a quite seamless and simple way of connecting your Bluetooth headphone with your phone. As soon as the accessory is ready to connect, you would get a pop-up intimating you to start the pairing process. In a matter of a single click and a few seconds, both your devices would be in sync.
Well, going forward, you would be able to pair your headphones with Chromebooks and Android/Google TVs like this using Fast Pair. Not only that, Matter-based AIoT devices would be getting Fast Pair support, enabling these to connect with your network, smartphone, and apps like Google Home.
And once Fast Pair is part of Windows, you should be able to quickly connect Android phones and Bluetooth devices with your Windows machine. Also, you will be able to sync text messages and files rather fastly.
Quicker Setup of Chromebooks
Google will also roll out a facility to unlock Chromebooks using connected WearOS watches. And there will also be an option to set up a Chromebook using your Android phone and stuff like Google login and WiFi password would be set automatically on the receiving device.
Access Android Messages and Multimedia on Chromebooks
As the sub-heading reads, you would be able to access your phone messages and respond from the big screen of the Chromebook. Not just that, even recent photos and videos from your phone’s camera roll would be accessible on the Chromebook.
Bluetooth MultiPoint-esque Auto Audio Switch and Spatial Audio
Google says, “We’re building a technology for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that will enable them to automatically switch the audio to whatever device you’re listening to.” This sounds like Bluetooth Multipoint and should be arriving on select headphones later this year.
Then there is Spatial Audio which will allow the headphones to adapt the sound based on head movements just so you get a 360° sound regardless of the direction you are facing.
Chromecast on 3rd party speakers
Google is partnering with Bose and other brands to allow the transfer of audio from your phone to these 3rd party speakers over Chromecast.
Digital Car Keys on more Android phones
Besides Samsung and Pixel phones, other brand phones would also get UWB-based Digital Car Keys functionality. This allows you to unlock the car (select BMW models for now) with your Android phone.
You would also be able to connect your phone with Android Auto using Fast Pair. And even before leaving your home, you can ask Google to warm up or cool down the car interiors, lock and unlock it as well as check on the status of things like the current battery charge.