Phones are at the center of our digital lives. When purchasing a phone these days, we’re buying not only a phone, but also an entire ecosystem of devices that are all expected to work together — such as TVs, laptops, cars and wearables like smartwatches or fitness trackers. In North America, the average person now has around eight connected devices, and by 2022, this is predicted to grow to 13 connected devices.
Today, we’re sharing how we’re helping make your Android phone, and all the devices connected to it, work even better together.
Pair your devices in one tap
Fast Pair helps make it easier and faster to connect to Bluetooth devices around you. So far, people have used Fast Pair over 36 million times to connect their Android phones with Bluetooth accessories from Sony, Microsoft, JBL, Philips, Google and many other popular brands.
In the coming months, we’re bringing Fast Pair to even more devices such as Beats headphones as well as cars from BMW and Ford. With a single tap, you can pair your Android phone to your favorite accessories whether it’s earbuds, speakers, wearables or cars.
Turn on your TV and find entertainment faster
Whether it’s under the couch cushions, behind your nightstand or in your refrigerator, TV remotes are often mysteriously lost. And even when you finally find it, typing a password with a remote control can be a frustrating and time-consuming process.
We’re making it easier to navigate your TV by building remote-control features directly into your Android phone, so you can watch your favorite show even if your actual remote is missing. And when you need to type a complex movie title or password, you can save time and use your phone's keyboard to enter the text.
Rolling out later this year, the built-in remote control on Android phones will work instantly for the more than 80 million Android TV OS devices, including Google TV.
Move between your phone and Chromebook with ease
Your Android phone and Chromebook already work well together, with features like Wi-Fi Sync and Smart Lock. With the recent launch of Phone Hub, you now have a built-in control center that makes it easy to manage your Android phone right from your Chromebook. Even if your phone is in another room, you can receive and respond to text messages, check its battery life and cell signal, turn on its hotspot, or locate it — all from your Chromebook. Phone Hub also displays recent Chrome browser tabs opened on your Android phone, so you can pick up where you left off.
And coming soon, Phone Hub will provide access to recently taken photos from your phone, so when you need to edit a picture or share on social media, you can access it instantly on your Chromebook without having to email it to yourself.
Unlock your car with your phone
Android Auto is designed to make it safer to use apps from your phone while you’re on the road. Today, Android Auto is available in more than 100 million cars and the vast majority of new vehicles from loved brands like GM, Ford, Honda and more will support Android Auto wireless. No more cords.
To make your phone even more helpful, we’re working with car manufacturers to develop a new digital car key in Android 12. With this feature, you’ll be able to lock, unlock and even start your car from your phone.
By using Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology, you won’t even have to take your phone out to use it as a car key. And for NFC-enabled car models, it’s as easy as tapping your phone on the car door to unlock it. Since it’s all digital, you can also securely and remotely share your car key with friends and family if they need to borrow your car.
Starting later this year, digital car keys will become available on select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones. We’re working with BMW and others to bring this to their upcoming cars.
These are just a few ways that we’re helping all your devices work better together with your Android phone.