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The Android 11 Audio Output Switcher supports Cast devices

One of the most useful new features in Android 11 is the ability to quickly toggle audio output without delving into your settings. However, in its current state, it only works with Bluetooth devices, which makes it considerably less useful. In the future, however, the audio output toggle in Android 11 will work with Cast devices, just with a large roadblock in the way.

As it stands today, the audio switcher in Android 11 serves a purpose. With multiple Bluetooth devices connected, you can quickly switch between them and your phone’s speaker. Granted, that’s a pretty niche use case. It can be useful to play audio through your phone̵

7;s speaker when you get into a car that is paired via Bluetooth. However, there are very few scenarios in which this is useful.

However, the ability to cast audio to various Chromecast compatible products would be much more useful to many people. As Ron Amadeo pointed out on Twitter, an Android support page is showing this functionality is coming, just not in the way you might expect.

Instead of updating the entire Cast platform with this functionality, Android app developers need to add them one by one. That means services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube Music, and a host of other media apps must actively make changes to support Cast devices. In particular, they must support a version of the “media router” library that is still in beta.

Why is that? Android police indicates which is probably the biggest reason. Not every app that puts media in the notification shadow supports casting for speakers and TVs. For these Android apps, it would be quite frustrating for the end user to see cast devices in the audio output switcher! As a result, we’ll have to wait for apps that do support Chromecast to push an update.

The following video from Google explains what needs to be changed for this functionality to work. The aforementioned support page is another helpful resource.

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