- At the Google CES 2022 event, the announcement of Fast Pair support for Chromebooks, Android TV and connected devices with Matter was announced.
- The update allows you to set up a Chromebook with an Android phone.
- Later this year you will be able to use digital car keys and remotes for your car. This comes first for BMW and Volvo vehicles.
As part of CES 2022, Google announced a host of features primarily aimed at strengthening interconnectivity between its own operating systems and reducing friction between connected peripherals and smart hubs.
In addition, the company is focused on improving the connected car experience through a range of feature updates, including but not limited to digital car keys and Google Assistant-based commands.
Google CES 2022: Connect everything quickly
Google’s shortcut service for headphones has been slowly and steadily gaining ground since its announcement in 2017. With a combination of the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol and location services, Fast Pair makes it easy to discover devices such as headphones and pair them seamlessly with your Android phone. . The feature is functionally similar to seamlessly pairing and sharing AirPods between iOS and Mac devices.
Read more: The best true wireless earbuds
Now, as part of the CES 2022 announcements, Google plans to bring Fast Pair to Google TV and other Android TV devices. The new feature is expected to roll out in the coming months and will allow you to quickly pair headphones or true wireless headphones to your Android TV-based smart TV. In addition, Fast Pair for headphones is also expected to make its way to Chromebooks in the coming weeks.
Building on the theme of interconnectivity, Google also offers the option to switch audio streams. Think of switching audio streams from a tablet to an Android phone or vice versa without having to change the pairing settings of the device. The feature will be available on Android tablets, phones and Chromebooks.
Let’s set up your Chromebook
Later this year, it will be possible to set up a Chromebook with a paired Android device. We expect the feature to work the same way it does on Android TV devices. You can transfer account and Wi-Fi information via Bluetooth during the setup process.
The cross-platform integration goes a step further than just sharing linked audio devices. Google says users will be able to view and respond to messages and chats from phones in the coming months without the need for additional apps. Users can also view and share photos and videos from an Android phone to a Chromebook using the camera roll on the phone hub.
In addition to Chromebooks and Android devices, Google also supports Fast Pair to Matter devices. This should go a long way in reducing friction when adding a newly connected device to your smart home.
While Apple users have long been able to unlock their phones and laptops with an Apple Watch, the same was not an option for users on the Google platform. That will change with Trusted Unlock for Chromebooks and Android phones. This feature allows a paired Wear OS smartwatch to unlock your device.
Connected vehicles get a boost
As for unlocking devices, Google is also announcing support for digital car keys for a selection of BMW vehicles. When it rolls out, the use of a phone with Ultra-Wideband support will be required. In addition, it will also be possible to share keys remotely with trusted family or friends.
Do you want to integrate your car into your smart home? That will come. Initially limited to Volvo vehicles, users can adjust thermostat settings and lock or unlock the car. They may even check battery health once the feature rolls out later in the spring.
Upcoming upgrades to Android Auto and infotainment systems powered by the Android Automotive OS will increase the number of supported apps. Those using Android Auto can view and accept rides with services such as Lyft and Kakao Mobility. Meanwhile, video entertainment apps such as YouTube will be accessible on the in-car display while parking. The latter is again limited to Volvo cars at launch.
There’s a lot to look forward to here for users who are fully invested in Google’s ecosystem!