One of the best features for any iPhone user is AirDrop, which lets you easily share files, photos, videos and more from one iOS device to another, as well as to Apple laptops, desktops, and iPads. While both Google and Samsung have developed their own alternatives, the two companies have come to recognize that combining their efforts may pay off better in the long run.
To that end, Google today announced at CES 2024 that it's merging its Nearby Share with Samsung's Quick Share, and using Samsung's moniker going forward.
But that's just one of the new features that Google revealed at CES today (January 9). It's also adding features to Chromecast, Android Auto, and more. Read on for the details.
Starting in February, the new Quick Share will be rolled out to all Android devices, and will also work with Chromebooks as well as Windows systems. Google said it's working with companies such as LG to add Quick Share as a preinstalled app on Windows machines.
As the two current apps — Quick Share and Nearby Share — are largely duplicative, it makes sense that they should be combined into one, at least for consumers' sake.
Fast Pair expands
Quick Share wasn't the only new upgrade Google announced at CES. It also revealed that it would be expanding Fast Pair — its feature to quickly connect Bluetooth devices — to Chromecast with Google TV. Fast Pair will extend to other Google TV devices later this year.
This will be a very handy feature for those who want to watch a movie or show, but don't want to disturb their partner with loud audio. It's one of the reasons we like the Roku remote with the built-in headphone jack; not everyone wants to be subjected to the Paw Patrol theme.
Fast Pair will require that your headphones or earbuds support Bluetooth Low Energy and Android location services; and of course, you'll also need Chromecast with Google TV.
TikTok comes to Chromecast
TikTok seems to be where all the kids are at these days, so it only makes sense that Google wants you to be able to watch it in more places. While the company hasn't said when the feature will be released, you'll soon be able to cast content, including live videos, from TikTok to a Chromecast-enabled device.
Google also said that more devices with Chromecast built in will be available this year, such as LG's 2024 TVs. Additionally, Google said that Chromecast is also rolling out to LG Hospitality, so that when you check into a hotel room with an LG TV, you can use your Google account to watch your favorite streaming services.
Audio casting to Pixel Tablets
If you have a compatible Pixel phone, you'll soon be able to cast music from Spotify and YouTube Music to a docked Google Pixel Tablet; that way, if you're listening to something on your phone, you can more easily switch it over to another device when you get home.
Matter in more places
Matter, the somewhat new smart home standard, is slowly rolling out to devices, but in order to use them, you also need a Matter-compatible hub. Google is expanding its reach by turning some LG TVS, as well as some Google TV devices into Matter-capable Google Home hubs.
However, Google did not specify a timeframe for when this feature would be rolled out, nor on which TVs it would be enabled.
Google Maps and Android Auto
Good news for those who drive electric cars: EVs with Android Auto will be able to share their battery status with Google Maps, so that the navigation app can give you information such as your estimated battery life when you reach your destination and suggest charging stops along your route. It can even guess how much time it will take you to top off your car's battery.
This upgrade will come first to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Ford F-150 Lighting in the coming months; Google did not say when it would make it to other vehicles.
Check out our CES 2024 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. Follow the Tom’s Guide team in Las Vegas as we cover everything AI, as well as the best new TVs, laptops, fitness gear, wearables and smart home gadgets at the show.And be sure to check out the Tom's Guide TikTok channel for all the newest videos from CES!
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.