Google unveiled a host of connectivity features, products, and milestones for Android at CES 2023.
This year, Google is rolling out Android Auto with a new design that brings easier viewing and access to your favorite Android phone experiences (navigation, media, and communication) on your car display.
Cars with Google built-in have Google Assistant, Google Maps and more apps from Google Play integrated directly into the car, so you can control the car temperature with just your voice and even turn on house lights from your car before you get home. There are currently seven brands that offer cars with Google built-in: Honda, Polestar, Volvo, Chevrolet, GMC, Renault, and Cadillac.
From cars to portable devices, Google is expanding its connectivity features to enable seamless switching between devices. In particular, Phone Hub in ChromeOS makes it easy to view and respond to your Android phone’s notifications from messaging apps directly from your laptop. Chromebooks are also packed with productivity features that help you get more done with your Android phone like grabbing the latest photos from your phone’s camera roll, sending files with Nearby Share, or sharing and connecting to saved Wi-Fi networks.
These features are available on the new Chromebooks announced at CES including the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip and HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.
Aside from new products and features, Google also highlighted various connectivity milestones at the CES. These include Fast Pair, a feature that allows users to instantly find and connect nearby accessories to their devices. This speeds up the setup process for pairing your favorite devices including 300 headphone models from brands like Beats, JBL, OnePlus, and Sony. The feature also works with Matter, so you can connect smart home devices to Google Home and other apps, right from your mobile devices.
In 2022, over 320 million Fast Pair pairings were made to instantly find and connect nearby accessories to your devices.
Nearby Share, which allows Android devices to share content easily, has seen 3 billion devices using the feature since its launch in 2020.
Chromecast, the dongle that brings online entertainment to regular TVs, smart speakers, and soundbars, now has more than 3,000 supported audio and video apps, perfect for any type of entertainment for every kind of user. In the same vein, Google TV, an app that allows Android devices to be turned into a remote control and cast shows and movies from apps directly to compatible TVs with a single tap, has reached 150 million monthly active devices.
More Google TV devices are also set to launch within the year including the TCL Q-Series TV and the Hisense ULED TVs, Laser TVs and Laser Cinema lineups.
The wearable ecosystem has also seen quite a growth as Google reported that the active Wear OS devices have tripled since May 2021. Wear OS is an operating system specifically designed for smartwatches and other wearable devices. In its latest version, Wear OS 3, you can use the Camera app to level up your selfies and remotely control the camera shutter on Pixel phones or use the Google Home app to control compatible smart home devices like your thermostat and lights. Pixel Watches, Samsung Galaxy Watch5 series, and Fossil Gen 6 Wellness Edition are only some of the devices that use the OS.