Google I/O 2024: Android might soon allow smartwatches to control phone audio. Google's update could reshape audio management (Unsplash)Gadgets 

Details about new feature: Smartwatches to soon control phone audio output at Google I/O 2024

Google I/O 2024: Google appears to be preparing to unveil a new feature for Android that will allow your smartwatch to control the audio output settings on your smartphone. While managing audio output sources on your Android phone is currently easy, Google has already created a system that enables quick transfers of audio output between devices using Chromecast devices and Spotify Connect. However, this feature is currently limited to your phone. It seems that Android will soon expand this capability to include your smartwatch.

Media routing control in the development phase

Google is currently developing a new feature called “media routing control” for Android that would be granted through app permission. This permission allows apps on your phone to dictate the destination of audio output. This includes the smartwatch’s companion app, allowing the watch itself to perform this function.

Recent developments in AOSP

The recent appearance of the “Media Routing Control” feature in AOSP was first noticed by Android Authority, who also collected references to the project from other sources. This option would allow your device’s app to “use the list of available devices and control what streams or streams audio or video from other apps.” Google specifies that the permission “allows [an] app to choose which connected device plays audio or video from other apps. If allowed, that app can use a list of available devices, such as headphones and speakers, and choose which output device to use for audio or to stream or stream video.”

It is still uncertain whether such functionality will be extended to all Wear OS devices or reserved for specific Google devices such as the Pixel Watch and Google Pixel Watch 2. Also, it is unclear if it will be included in the full Android release. More information is expected to be announced at Google I/O 2024 on May 14, where a comprehensive look at the future of Android, Wear OS and other Google software is expected.

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