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Google at CES 2024: New Features Coming to Android, Google TV, and More!

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Although there are no expected hardware showcases, Google has continued to participate at CES this 2024. In the opening of the annual tech show, the company announced numerous new software features planned to be added across a wide range of Android and Chromecast-enabled devices through updates.

Nearby Share to Quick Share

First off, the default Android peer-to-peer sharing tool, Nearby Share, will be renamed to Quick Share. This is after it was speculated of Google's plan to abandon its self-branded feature at the end of last year.

Ultimately, the company wants to unify the naming scheme with Samsung, which has used Quick Share on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets for years. Google said the rebranding will begin next month and be applicable to devices with the Nearby Share feature.

Quick Share has the same core functions, including managing privacy with the feature, as Nearby Share. But there are updates on the interface inside the different sections when using Quick Share.

Google adds music casting to Pixel Tablet and Fast Pair to TVs

Google is improving how the docked Pixel Tablet (review) should work as well. Particularly, Pixel phone users will be able to seamlessly hand off music playback via YouTube Music or Spotify to the Pixel Tablet when the slab is docked. The playlist or track will continue to play on the tablet on where it is left off from the handset.

According to Google, the new casting feature will be available this year, although the exact timeline has not been specified.

Google Pixel Tablet
With a magnetic docking system, it's effortless to attach and detach the Pixel Tablet from the speaker dock. / © nextpit

What's immediately available, however, is a new ability to cast TikTok videos from phones to Chromecast-ready devices, such as top boxes and smart TVs. A later update will add support for casting live TikTok videos as well.

Similar to Apple's plan of enabling AirPlay on entertainment systems for hotels and resorts, Google follows suit by allowing users to cast on select LG TVs with built-in Chromecast in hotels and hospitals. At the same time, it removes the process of logging in to your accounts and passwords on the TV. This addition is said to arrive sometime in 2024.

Google adds Fast Pair support between headphones and Google TVs
Later this year, Chromecast with Google TV and Google TVs will support Fast Pair for headphones and speakers. / © Google

Fast Pair is Google's Android-based quick pairing method between phones, accessories, and wearables. Now, Google said that they are adopting Fast Pair for Chromecast with Google TV and standalone Google TV devices to support fast pairing with headphones and speakers later this year. 

Turn your smart TV into a Matter hub

A big update that's coming to Android and Google TV-powered big screens later in 2024 is support to turn these into a Matter hub, subsequently removing the need to set up a dedicated smart home hub or speaker. Users can then manage connected Matter accessories and devices through the Google Home app. Compatibility of the feature with select LG televisions running on webOS was also mentioned.

Google Maps will tell EV users when it's time for a charge

Regarding Android Auto, Google is enhancing its driving platform for electric vehicle users. EVs with Android Auto will get integration of vehicle battery information with Google Maps. For example, Maps will be able to tell the estimated range once you arrive at your destination. There will be suggestions for charging stations along the route as well.

Google is rolling out this first to Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lighting units in the coming months. Unfortunately, there is no definite launch window given for other carmakers and models.

Which of these new Android and Chromecast features do you think are particularly useful in your case? Tell us your answers in the comments.

Source: Google's Blog

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Jade Bryan

Jade Bryan
Junior Editor

I still remember how amazed I was when I first got hold of the Nokia 3210 back when I was a kid, and it was during that time I developed my love for technology, particularly for mobile phones. I started sharing my knowledge through writing in different blogs and forums back in Nokia Nseries era. I even make videos before where I put different phones side-by-side. Today, I'm still an avid enthusiast of smartphones, but my interests have evolved into smart devices and electric vehicles.

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