Imagine you and your friends are traveling together and want to listen to music as a group. If the app you’re using doesn’t have a feature like Spotify’s social listening, it’s not easy to share the music with everyone in the group. Auracast, a part of Bluetooth LE Audio, aims to solve this problem. Auracast lets you share audio with nearby devices using Bluetooth Low Energy, without needing to go through the trouble of pairing. However, both the device playing the music and the devices receiving it must support Auracast for this to work.
Audio Sharing Coming with Android 15
Even though Auracast was introduced more than a year ago, there aren’t many headsets available that support it. This might change in 2024, as many accessory makers plan to release new products that support Auracast, especially since most new smartphones also support it. To get ready for these new devices, Google is getting set to include a special “audio sharing” page in Android 15. This page will let users easily share or connect to nearby LE Audio streams.
In exploring the Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3 release, Android Authority found many phrases in the Settings app about audio sharing. These phrases talk about a page with a “switch” (a toggle) to share audio, a button to scan a QR code and connect to a nearby audio stream, another button to choose a different Bluetooth device for listening, and a section that shows a list of nearby audio streams.
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The upcoming audio streams page will be located in Settings under Connected devices and then Connection preferences. Android Authority managed to manually open the page and see its layout. Unfortunately, they couldn’t test starting or connecting to a nearby audio stream because of unavailability of a device that supports Auracast broadcasting.
Google has been working on including Bluetooth LE Audio in Android since Android 13. It’s currently possible to start and connect to nearby LE Audio broadcasts through a button in Android’s media output switcher. What’s significant about the Android 15 update is that Google is prominently featuring this capability in the Settings menu. This suggests that Google is getting ready to highlight Auracast support as a key feature of Android 15, similar to how it did for LE Audio support in Android 13.
Audi Sharing Already Available in Tensor-Enabled Devices
Google hasn’t launched earbuds that support LE Audio yet. However, all devices powered by Google’s Tensor chip already support version 5.2 of the Bluetooth Core Specification. This version is the first to support LE Audio. If Google decides to release new Pixel Buds with LE Audio this year, most existing Pixel phones would be able to enjoy the advantages of LE Audio. However, it’s uncertain if Google intends to introduce new Pixel Buds this year. Therefore, we can only guess why they are adding this feature at this time.
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