Android may soon let smartwatches control your phone’s audio output

Google appears to be preparing a new feature for Android that would allow your smartwatch to control the audio output setting on your smartphone.

Through your Android phone it’s already pretty easy to quickly switch the output of audio to another source. Google has even built out a system where Chromecast devices and even Spotify Connect can help you quickly move audio output from one device to another. But that only works on your phone itself.

Soon, it seems that Android will support giving this control to your smartwatch.

Google is working on a new “media routing control” for Android which would be an app permission. This would allow apps on your phone to control where audio output goes, and this includes the companion app of a smartwatch, in turn allowing the watch itself to do this. Google says:

For example, holding this permission allows watches (via companion apps) to control the routing of applications running on the phone.

The new work on “media routing control” showed up in AOSP recently as first reported by Android Authority, who also pulled in other references to the project elsewhere. The option would let an app on your device “access a list of available devices and control which one streams or casts audio or video from other apps.” Google further explains that the permission “allows [an] app to choose which connected device plays audio or video from other apps. If allowed, this app can access a list of available devices such as headphones and speakers and choose which output device is used to stream or cast audio or video.”

It’s not entirely clear when this functionality may arrive, but it’s entirely possible it could show up in the upcoming Android 15 release.

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