Google brings back Cast volume controls for Pixel phones with January 2022 update
With Android 12, Google quietly removed one important feature: the ability to control the volume of Cast-enabled devices using your phone’s volume buttons. On Android 11 and earlier versions you could change the volume of an ongoing Cast session by simply pressing the volume buttons from any screen. But that convenience is gone in the latest version of Android — you now have to open the relevant app to adjust the volume. Earlier in November Google said it had to temporarily disable the feature due to a legal issue and that it would bring it back in Android 12L. But it appears we won’t have to wait till the next Android release to get the feature back.
As spotted by Mishaal Rahman, Google has seemingly re-enabled Cast volume controls for Pixel phones running Android 12 with the January 2022 security update. That means you can once again control the volume of your Cast session using the volume keys from any screen.
Surprise! Cast volume controls have been re-enabled with the January 2022 update for Pixel. Google either settled its legal matter or this new method enables cast volume controls in a way that doesn’t violate the patent.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 5, 2022
As you can see in the screenshot above, when you’re streaming something to a Cast-enabled device, pressing the volume key will bring up the familiar Cast volume slider.
It’s unclear whether Cast volume controls will make their way to other Android 12 devices anytime soon. For now, it seems the feature is only coming to Pixel phones running Android 12. The January 2022 update was released earlier this week and is currently rolling out to the Pixel 3, Pixel 4, and Pixel 5 series. Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will get it sometime later this month.
Has the latest January 2022 update re-enabled Cast controls on your Pixel phone running Android 12? Let us know in the comments below.