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Google could pull an Apple, let you take phone calls on your Android tablet

It will be very convenient for people who own multiple Android devices.
By

Published onApril 6, 2023

TL;DR
  • Code within Android 14 Developer Preview 2 facilitates audio interception and recording.
  • This could be used to stream phone call audio between Android devices.
  • This feature is not confirmed, nor announced but could come in future Android releases.

Apple has a neat trick in its ecosystem called Continuity. When you sign in to your Apple ID on multiple devices, you can use Continuity to move seamlessly between them. For instance, you can take a phone call on your iPad or Mac, even though those devices don’t have traditional telephony hardware or functions. If you’re an Android lover, Google may be working on its own version of this call streaming feature, letting you take phone calls on your Android tablet.

Android 14 Developer Preview 2 has added a new SYSTEM_CALL_STREAMING role that apps can request to hold, granting them certain permissions and privileges. As spotted by Mishaal Rahman, this role grants permissions related to audio interception and recording and will likely be used to stream phone call audio between Android devices.

As Mishaal extrapolates, this role and accompanying APIs could be used in the future to stream voice call audio from an Android phone to an Android tablet. So when you have an incoming call on your phone, you can stream it to your tablet if that is more convenient for you.

There’s more evidence backing support for this feature. Some time back, Mishaal had also spotted a “Cross-Device Communication Service” app in the Android 12L Developer Preview that would theoretically facilitate a “nearby calling” feature between Pixel phones and the Nest Hub.

Google Nearby Calling feature leak
Mishaal Rahman

Google has not officially confirmed that the feature is coming. But all of these changes were spotted in officially released developer previews and documentation, meaning that the company is indeed working on these features. We do not know when the feature will be released or if it will be released at all. But the upcoming Google Pixel Tablet would be the best product to showcase this feature.

Further, we do not know if the feature will be available for all Android phones and tablets or be locked to the Google Pixel ecosystem only. Apple ties its call continuity feature to a common Apple ID sign-in, so it is fair to expect Google will also require a common Google account signed into the devices where you want to use call streaming. So you would need Google Play Services, at the very least.

Call streaming is a neat feature that will showcase the Android ecosystem. It will be very convenient for people who own multiple Android devices. We hope Google considers releasing this feature soon.

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