The Pixel Tablet could receive a nifty media handoff feature

Android 13 clock on Pixel Tablet
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google appears to be working on a media handoff feature for the Pixel Tablet that lets users hold their phone in front of it to cast content.
  • This could take advantage of the Pixel Tablet's UWB support, which is mostly only used for Nearby Share.
  • Google detailed a seamless transfer feature during CES 2023, which bears some similarity to what we're seeing now.

Google has been spotted working on a neat media handoff feature for the Pixel Tablet. According to a post from Mishaal Rahman on X, the company is developing a way for users to hold their Android phone in front of their Pixel Tablet to cast videos and music to it. The feature looks to work over Wi-Fi and will require users to enable it before they can utilize such a nifty feature.

Furthermore, Rahman states that, in the feature's early preview, the heavy lifting is done by an external app, not the Android OS. The assumption, for now, is that Google's Play Services will take the lead.

Moreover, there's uncertainty behind whether or not the handoff feature will work specifically for UWB (ultra-wideband) devices or if devices supporting NFC can use it, too.

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If the feature does utilize UWB, it would be the first time Google really puts the Pixel Tablet's UWB support to some good use. As Rahman states, the tablet's UWB chip isn't currently utilized in any way other than for Nearby Share purposes.

Rahman further explains that Android 13 introduces floating UI chips for a media tap to transfer function. However, these are purely informational and would typically alert users if the device they're attempting to cast to is out of range or if the transfer is in progress.

This upcoming handoff is similar to Google's seamless media transfer touted during its "better together" run at CES 2023. The idea was users could easily cast media such as music to their earbuds, TV, or vehicle based on proximity. Users would receive a notification on their phone, and tapping it would complete the transfer without further manual input.

Google stated this would become possible due to Android's technology stack leveraging Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi connectivity. The company was working on incorporating Spotify and YouTube Music with this feature once it rolled out, but didn't have a concrete timeframe.

So, perhaps, what we're seeing now is the in-development advancement of this previous idea that will hopefully roll out as Android 14 begins to arrive.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.