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The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is perhaps the biggest tech event of the year, with companies announcing their latest innovation. In line with this trend, Google, at CES 2024, announced a slew of new features for Android, Google TV, Chromecast, and Android Auto. Here’s everything you need to know about these updates.
1. Quick Share expands to Android
File sharing within the Android ecosystem has always been a mess, with Google and Samsung offering their own versions. However, at CES 2024, Google announced a collaboration with Samsung to launch a new cross-platform sharing solution under the Quick Share banner.
Set to launch in February, this feature not only facilitates file sharing between Android devices but also extends compatibility to Chromebooks and Windows laptops. Additionally, users can now share files with multiple contacts simultaneously, a functionality missing from the Nearby Share.
2. Fast Pair
It’s no secret that connecting a Bluetooth device manually is a headache, requiring users to go through multiple steps. To solve this issue, Google introduced Fast Pair, enabling seamless and efficient connection and switching between multiple Bluetooth devices. This service is now expanding to Chromecast with Google TV, simplifying headphone connectivity for late-night movie sessions.
However, it is important to note that Fast Pair will only work with headphones that support the Bluetooth Low Energy standard and are equipped with location services.
3. Casting comes to more devices and apps
Short-form video, particularly TikTok, has boomed in the last few years, with everyone spending most of their time scrolling. As a result, Google has announced a new feature that will allow users to cast TikTok videos on Chromecast-enabled TVs.
Moreover, Google is collaborating with LG to extend Chromecast capabilities to its hospitality division, enabling users to effortlessly stream their favorite apps on LG TVs in hotel rooms without the need for logins. Additionally, users with compatible Pixel phones will soon be able to cast their Spotify or YouTube Music playlists to a docked Pixel tablet.
4. Matter for everyone
Historically, smart-home platforms have tied users to a single ecosystem, be it Google, Apple, or Amazon. However, the introduction of Matter marks a significant shift, as companies like Google and Apple have agreed upon a unified smart-home platform. This agreement enables users to purchase products from various brands without compatibility concerns.
Keeping in line, Google has announced that LG TVs and several other Google and Android TVs will soon function as Google Hubs.
5. Android Auto expands to more EVs
Given the increasing adoption of EVs, Google revealed a new integration allowing existing EVs to share real-time charge information with Google Maps, allowing the service to calculate metrics such as estimated charge remaining upon arrival at a destination and predicting journey times more accurately. Furthermore, Android Auto will soon be available in Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning models.
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