At CES today, Google announced Google Cast for audio, which lets you play back sound from apps directly to speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers. Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon will be the first to offer “Google Cast Ready” products this spring, Google says.
The feature will work just like Google’s Chromecast streaming stick: Tap the “cast” button in an app on Android, iOS, or the web, and select a Google Cast-supported device. The speakers pull content directly from the cloud, not your device, “so you’ll get the best audio quality and can freely multi-task on your phone, tablet, or laptop, all without straining the battery,” Tomer Shekel, Product Manager of Google Cast for audio, said in a statement.
Apps like Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, and TuneIn have already signed on, and the company is expecting “many more” to follow. Given that there are still a good few months before the spring, we expect there will be quite the list of supported apps at launch.
Google Cast for audio uses the same technology that powers the Chromecast. By offering it directly in products made by audio manufacturers, however, the company makes sure it isn’t the only one developing compatible hardware.
Google is naturally promising additional Google Cast Ready products, saying that “more brands” will offer them “later in 2015.” The company has partnered with chip makers Broadcom and MediaTek, as well as system integrator Libre Wireless to pull off this latest entertainment push.
This is but a small piece of the overall ecosystem puzzle the company is trying to put together. With Chromecast becoming popular very quickly, Google is now looking to bring Cast into even more devices around the home, “including televisions, game consoles, and set-top boxes with Android TV,” Shekel promised.
It’s naturally too early to say whether Google Cast for audio will take off, but at first glance it seems the company has taken the right first software and hardware steps to give it a strong start. The first Cast-supported products will likely launch during the first quarter of 2015.