android shared cast controls notification pixel watch no notification

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority


As Apple launched the brand new Watch Collection 9 this week, two options struck me as a result of I’ve needed them on Put on OS smartwatches for years and I couldn’t imagine that Apple was introducing them earlier than Google: on-device Siri instructions and now-playing HomePod notifications. Let’s give attention to the latter for now.

Apple will allow you to management HomePod music from the display screen that is at all times on you — your smartwatch. That is tremendous helpful.

Apple’s Watch Collection 9 and HomePod integration is predicated on the watch’s second-generation Extremely-wideband (UWB) chip, which detects close by gadgets and measures how far they’re and during which path. When the Watch Collection 9 acknowledges a close-by HomePod inside a four-meter distance, it’ll instantly floor a card to the highest of the widget stack. If nothing is taking part in, the cardboard will recommend music, podcasts, and audiobooks to play. But when one thing is already taking part in, it’ll present that and allow you to management it.

apple watch homepod now playing notification

Isn’t that oddly paying homage to one thing Google Chromecasts already do? It’s been a decade since Google launched the Chromecast and with it the choice to regulate music taking part in on a close-by solid goal straight out of your cellphone. Google’s tech makes use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it’s not as exact as UWB, but it surely has labored effectively for years. Each time one thing begins taking part in on a Google Nest sensible speaker or hub, you get a notification in your cellphone to regulate it. It’s easy and environment friendly.

The difficulty with Google’s implementation is that the notification doesn’t carry over to your smartwatch — the one controller that’s at all times bodily on and with you, even inside your property. This aggravated me with older Put on OS watches, but it surely irked me much more when the Pixel Watch was launched and the characteristic was nowhere to be discovered on it. All Google needed to do was carry over the Play Providers notification that pops up in your cellphone to your smartwatch, because it does with some other software. It didn’t.

Google Chromecasts have proven a now-playing notification on close by telephones for a decade. Not on smartwatches, although.

Spotify Join helps repair this oversight, but it surely clearly solely works for those who’re listening to music by way of Spotify and the now-playing notification solely reveals up by default for those who begin casting out of your cellphone. It gained’t pop up for those who use voice instructions in your speaker or for those who begin playback from a pc or a pill.

Google Pixel Watch Spotify 1

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

There’s a glimmer of hope, although. Rumors recommend that the Pixel Watch 2 can have a UWB chip, although we don’t know if it’ll solely be used for Discover My Machine or if Google will permit it to regulate close by UWB-touting audio system and shows just like the Pixel Pill (and a rumored upcoming Nest Hub with UWB). Different hidden Android code bits revealed that Google is engaged on tap-to-transfer to rapidly transfer taking part in music or video from a cellphone to a close-by Pixel Pill or Nest hub/speaker, however once more, nothing about transferring from a smartwatch. Nothing is for certain, however there’s hope that Google is tightening up the combination between smartwatches and sensible audio system and shows.

All Google needed to do is permit this now-playing notification to indicate up in your wrist too. No fancy UWB wanted.

Even when Google would roll out its personal implementation in October, I’d nonetheless be a bit miffed that we’d want UWB to get the only a part of this — now taking part in notifications — working or that you simply’d should be inside just a few meters to get the notification like Apple requires. What for those who’re not in the identical room? The close by casting notification has been right here for a decade; it has labored effectively for years regardless of solely utilizing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s a disgrace that we’d want newer and flashier tech when all Google needed to do was permit this notification to floor on watches.

See value at Amazon

Apple Watch Series 9


Apple Watch Collection 9

Highly effective new processor
Upgraded show with 2000 nit brightness
New gesture controls and Siri options

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