Android will allow device selection for Stream Cast, extending the functionality available for Bluetooth accessories

Google is offering users as early as Android 11 the ability to choose the speaker or headphones through which they want to listen to the music or movie playing. But until now the option was not available for devices such as Chromecast, in case more than one such gadget is available for connection.

Called the output switcher, the switch first introduced in Android 11 has so far only allowed switching between paired Bluetooth playback devices such as headphones or speakers. But nothing about devices that use other ways to connect, such as Wi-Fi.

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The new functionality is enabled by an update to the Google Cast SDK, with the software to be integrated with the Android 13 revision. Among the features offered could be file transfers, mediated either locally (e.g. Bluetooth), or over the WiFi network. For example, you’ll be able to play media files from your phone using other smart devices in the vicinity.

Apparently, this functionality has been tested as early as 2020, but support for the so-called output switcher has stopped for Bluetooth devices, without Google explaining the reason for this limitation. Thus, Android users can control individual volume at the app level and select their preferred playback device, but only from the list of accessories connected using Bluetooth.

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