Google announces quick setup, fast pair, WearOS unlock and more Android features at CES 2022

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Google Multi-device experiences 3 featured
Source: Google

Android is one of the most popular operating systems globally, with billions of active daily users. Google took drastic steps in the past few years to make the overall setup experience more seamless and painless, and while that worked, setting up a new device, sharing content between other devices (not just Android phones) has remained one of the most frustrating things that we still come across today. Google knows that, and it announced that it aims to do more to offer new helpful ways to people to connect with others. Google markets this new move as “Better together with Android and beyond.”

Quick setup Chrome OS to Android

Setting up a new device can give us all headaches as we’re required to sign in again to most of our accounts individually and set up various home screens and more. It’s a lot better than it was a few years ago, but it’s still something that I try to avoid if at all possible. Google knows this, and it came up with a new solution. If you get a new Chromebook later this year, you’ll be able to use your Android phone to quickly set it up and get immediate access to all the information that you’ve already saved, such as Wi-Fi passwords, Google login, and more.

Users will also be able to turn on Fast Pair enabled headphones, and Chromebook will automatically detect it and pair it with a single click, making it easier to connect supported devices in seconds. Matter-enabled devices will also gain similar support. The new features will start rolling out “in a few weeks.”

Lock and Unlock ChromeOS or Android using your Wear OS smartwatch

Google Multi-device experiences
Source: Google

The new feature will allow people to unlock Chromebooks with their Android devices and Wear OS smartwatches. The new lock/unlock method will come to Wear OS in “the coming months,” and it’ll let users unlock other supported devices when the person is nearby.

Additionally, the digital car key is already available on supported Samsung and Pixel devices that let people lock and unlock compatible BMW vehicles. Starting later this year, phones with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology won’t require users to take the phones out of their pocket to use as car keys. Users will also be able to remotely share their car keys securely with friends and family members, and Google announced that it wants to bring the digital car key feature to even more Android phones later this year.

Audio switching from Chrome OS to Android

Google Fast Pair Android TV OS
Source: Google

Google is working on ways to connect headphones and other accessories with other devices simultaneously. Google is working on a technology that will allow Bluetooth-enabled headphones to automatically switch the audio to whatever device a user is using at the moment. For example: If you are using your headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet, the headphones will automatically switch back to your phone when you receive a call on your smartphone. The headphones will automatically switch back when the call has finished. Spatial audio will also be available on supported headsets.

Google Bose with Chromecast built-in
Source: Google

Google will also make it easier to move and manage content across multiple devices. With Chromecast built-in, Android phones already allow everyone to share videos and audio to displays, TVs, and supported speakers. Chromecast will be built-in into more brands, starting with all Bose smart speakers and soundbars in the next few months.

Phone Hub on Chrome OS

The Phone Hub on Chromebooks will also receive new features that let users access their chat apps if their phone is charging in a different room. Chromebook will let users access stay in touch without installing any additional applications on their Chromebooks. The Camera Roll in the Phone Hub will also be accessible to view recent photos and videos with just a simple click.

Better Google Assistant for EVs

Google will also support more remote actions with Google Assistant, such as using voice to warm up and cool down supporter cars, lock and unlock doors and see how much battery there is left in the EV. This functionality will work in all Assistant-enabled devices, and the new features will arrive first to Volvo vehicles in the coming months.

Android on Windows PCs

Google will allow Android devices to connect to Windows PCs using Fast Pair to quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages, and share files using Nearby Share. Google announced that it’s working with Acer, HP, and Intel to bring these new features to select Windows PCs later this year.

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