2024 should be the year of Android 15, if everything at Google runs on schedule, and the signs are that the upcoming successor to Android 14 is going to bring with it a significant boost in Bluetooth functionality.
As spotted by seasoned code digger Mishaal Rahman over at Android Authority, the latest beta version of Android 14 comes with numerous mentions of audio sharing. This code is hidden for now, but it’s ready and waiting to be utilized.
The code describes a new page within Android where you get a switch to toggle the sharing of audio, a QR code to let other people tune in, a list of nearby audio streams, and a button to change the Bluetooth device you’re listening on.
In other words, it sounds a lot like Bluetooth Auracast, the new-ish Bluetooth LE Audio standard that lets you wireless share audio streams with people around you. Think about sharing a podcast with a friend on a bus ride, for example, or listening to an album in sync with someone else while you’re at home.
A long time coming
The clever part of Bluetooth Auracast is that it doesn’t rely on the normal pairing process, making it much easier to have several streams going at the same time on multiple devices. In theory, an unlimited number of devices can connect, making it suitable for public broadcasts at waiting rooms, gyms, bars, airports, and more.
Look back through the TechRadar archives and you’ll see that Bluetooth Auracast has been around for a while, though there are still only a relatively small number of products that actually have built-in support for it.
That could change if it becomes more prominently baked into Android 15. At the CES 2024 expo earlier this month, we got some hands-on time with the tech, and it clearly has a lot of potential in a range of different scenarios.
The chances are that Google will mention this as a key new feature of Android 15 when the early versions are announced in the coming months – and we’ve already heard how the software might include updates to how battery life is displayed and what you can do with the lock screen.
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