Google looks set to finally bring Cast devices to the Android audio output switcher

Pixel 6 Pro lockscreen Material You Music widget
(Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google found working on bringing new capabilities to Android's audio output switcher.
  • Users may finally be able to push audio output to Cast devices using the switcher.
  • This feature was expected to arrive on Android 11 but was never made available.

Google introduced an audio output switcher to smartphones running Android 11 alongside the revamped media player back in 2020. It is a tiny button housed in the media player and has been useful for playing audio on Bluetooth devices that the phone has been connected to. Now, it looks like Google is finally ready to bring some long-awaited functionality to the audio switcher with Android 13.

As spotted by Esper's Senior Technical Editor Mishaal Rahman, users on Android 13 may soon be able to easily cast their audio to additional devices like smart displays and other Google Cast devices, not just Bluetooth devices. With Android 13, this should enable smooth media audio switching from your phone to a Nest speaker or Chromecast device and back to your phone, straight from the switcher. This would be a convenient option for users with multiple Nest speakers and devices around the house.

Rahman suggests that third-party streaming services should have been able to utilize the feature, but Google seems to have held back on making it available, and for some reason, it requires Android 13 to work. The feature has been long overdue and was spotted years ago, and it seemed all but certain that this would become available with Android 11. Unfortunately, it didn't materialize and one of the reasons, according to earlier reports, suggested a lack of all apps support for Chromecast.

The demo of the feature working in action has been showcased by Rahman as well. With UAMP playing the media and the device locked, the audio output switcher can be seen changing media devices with just a couple of taps.

All in all, the new functionality appears to be a promising feature, which many Android devices could take advantage of with a new update coming in the near future.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.