Android 11’s audio output picker will soon support showing Google Cast devices
Requires a new version of MediaRouter
In Android 11, Google introduced a redesigned media player notification that resides underneath the Quick Settings panel. In addition to providing quick and persistent access to media playback controls, the new media player also features a “seamless media transfer” button that, when tapped, brings up a list of available devices to route the sound output to. People originally thought this output picker wouldn’t include Google Cast devices, but it turns out that’s actually not the case.
As pointed out by Twitter user @Cirilla1253 (via ArsTechnica’s Ron Amadeo), the latest version of the MediaRouter Jetpack library, version 1.2.0-beta01, adds a new feature with the description “support seamless media transfer that enables media transfer via System UI.” This library is a compatibility wrapper for the MediaRouter class, which “allows applications to control the routing of media channels and streams from the current device to external speakers and destination devices.” The MediaRouter support library is notably one of the dependencies for setting up the Cast Application Framework (CAF) for Android, which is what apps with Cast buttons use to route playback to Google Cast devices.
Hold up. It looks like Android 11 WILL list Chromecasts and Google Homes in the sound output picker, but individual apps need a version of the mediarouter library that isn't out of beta yet.
— Ron Amadeo (@RonAmadeo) September 8, 2020
While this confirms that the audio output chooser can support showing Google Cast devices, it may be a while before users will start seeing these options in the menu. Developers need to update their apps to use the latest version of the Mediarouter Jetpack library for this to integrate into the “seamless media transfer” UI of Android 11.
Android 11’s media playback controls are a lot more powerful than they were before. One of the biggest changes is its movement to a dedicated spot under the Quick Settings panel, giving users easy access to media controls regardless of what other notifications are showing. Media controls can show up on the lock screen, too, which also features quick access to the output picker. Furthermore, Media Control can also remember up to five previous media sessions, as we previously explained.
Chances are, your favorite streaming music and video apps will be updated to support listing Google Cast devices in the sound output picker. It’s just a matter of time.