Thursday, February 29, 2024

Android 13 could gain Apple’s magical media handoff feature


Google may “borrow” more media casting features with Android 13.


What you need to know

  • Android 13 has been tipped to feature a new media handoff function.
  • Users may be able to tap their phone to another device to transfer media playback.
  • A mockup from Google shows the feature in action.

While Google rejigs its audio casting features in the wake of the Sonos ruling, a fun new media feature has cropped up that could make it much easier to move media playback between devices in Android 13.

The feature was spotted by Android Police, who uncovered a mockup from Google of a “Media TTT (Tap to Transfer) function. From the looks of it, the feature would allow someone playing media on any of the best Android phones to tap their device onto another to transfer playback of that media.

You can see from the mockup how the user is prompted via a pill at the top to move the device closer to hand off playback.


If this sounds a bit familiar, that’s because Apple has a similar feature for iPhones and iPads, allowing those devices to hand off media to the Homepod Mini.

It’s a pretty handy feature and one that would be welcome on Android 13. However, Android Police noted that there are still plenty of unknowns, such as if it will work via NFC, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), or otherwise. We also don’t know what devices will be eligible for the feature, which could be limited if it relies on UWB or require entirely new hardware altogether.

It’s also too early to tell if this feature will make it to the final version of Android 13. Google has been known to test features out that make it through the Developer Preview only to withdraw it until the next stable release (á la Chat Bubbles) or just not release it at all.

With the Android 13 developer preview expected to commence sometime in February, we may learn more about this feature then. For now, our knowledge of Android 13 is somewhat limited, but hopefully, Google can make good on our expectations for Android this year.

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