Android 13 is said to contain a tap-to-transfer playback function, similar to Apple’s handoff function

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Android 13 is still a few months away, but details of a new audio and media feature in the works for the next iteration of Google’s operating system for smartphones have been discovered online. According to reports, Google is working on a new feature that will allow users to move media playback between devices. The feature could provide functionality similar to Apple’s Handoff feature, which allows iPhone owners to transfer media to and from the company’s HomePod speakers. According to another report, Google is also working on redesigning the operating system’s output selection for media on Android 13.

In a mockup of a new user interface of a “Media Tap to Transfer” (TTT) workflow from Android Police, it is shown that Google is working on a feature to notify users on their Android phones (or “Media Cast Sender” devices) . of available audio devices (or “Media Cast Receiver” devices) nearby. The feature could work with Google’s casting protocol used in its Chromecast devices and smart speakers, according to the report.

It’s also worth noting that the demo of the feature leaked by Android Police shows a tiny chip on the screen advising a user to get closer to the device to play audio. This suggests that the report could use hardware on a user’s device such as an ultra-wideband chip (UWB) or near field communication (NFC). Apple currently supports similar functionality with HomePod speakers as part of its handoff feature. However, it is currently unclear whether Google devices will be supported or the functionality will be available for other devices.

In the meantime, according to another report from Android Police, Google could also redesign the audio output selection for the next version of Android or Android 13. Output picker is a feature added in Android 10 that allows users to choose from a list of available devices that can play music near them, like smart speakers, wireless earbuds, and more. In the work in progress view of the new output picker from Android Police, Google seems to have given the picker rounded corners, redesigned volume controls with the device name, active devices are marked with a tick, while devices that are not available are grayed out.

Since there are still a few months to go before the next Android version, it is still too early to say whether the MTT feature will be available in its current form or whether it will even make it to the next Android release. Google might also decide to withhold the feature longer, such as the screenshot scrolling feature that wasn’t ready in time for Android 11. Similarly, the redesigned edition selection could see improvements or redesigns before the next version of Android (or Android 13th) releases later this year.

This week is Google I / O time on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast as we talk about Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (from 27:29 p.m.) we jump to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist film. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and anywhere you get your podcasts.

Check out the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360 in our CES 2022 hub.

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