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Android 13 could let you 'tap to transfer' media controls from device to device

Partygoers rejoice: just pass controls from one person to the next.

Published onJanuary 10, 2022

android 12 developer preview 1 quick settings media notification
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
  • A possible Android 13 feature could be a “tap to transfer” system.
  • Theoretically, you’d bump two devices together to pass along media controls.
  • This would be great for parties as well as transferring control from your phone to a smart speaker, for example.

Android 12 might seem very fresh in our minds, but we are literally weeks away from the first early launches of Android 13. Until that first developer preview lands, you should expect some leaked work-in-progress features to slip onto the internet.

See also: The evolution of Android

Case in point, we have a leaked feature from Android Police. The feature is quite bare-bones at the moment, but it appears to be focused on transferring media controls between devices. For example, you could theoretically start a playlist on your phone and then pass control of that playlist to another phone. Conversely, you could pass control from your phone to your smart speaker, tablet, TV, or what have you.

From the materials we’ve seen, it’s likely this TTT (aka tap to transfer) system would rely on NFC, ultra-wideband, or both. If so, it would work very similarly to using tap-to-pay features on your smartphone.

Unfortunately, that’s all speculation at the moment. The info Android Police obtained from an anonymous (but allegedly trustworthy) source is based on a demo of the feature, not actual code. In other words, Google might not even know how this alleged Android 13 would work yet — it’s just outlining what it wants the feature to look like.

Still, this isn’t a revolutionary idea. Apple’s iPhones can already do this with that company’s line of HomePod smart speakers, so Google would just be figuring out how to make this work with Android.

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