If you use headphones or earbuds with Google TV, an imminent update is going to make your life that little bit easier: as part of a range of Google TV and Android TV improvements announced at CES 2024, Google is bringing Fast Pair to Chromecast with Google TV "in the next month". It'll also be coming to more Google TV devices later this year.
Fast Pair for Chromecast has been around for quite a while. Fast Pair itself has been with us since 2018; the Chromecast version was first shown off at CES two years ago, and it came to Chromebooks in 2023. So it's been a long time coming to Chromecast systems.
Still, better late than never. Provided your earbuds or headphones support Fast Pair it'll mean much faster and hassle-free pairing when you want to listen without annoying the neighbours. Instead of messing around with your Bluetooth settings you'll be able to start listening immediately.
Google wants to make your TV Matter
Fast Pair isn't the only CES announcement from the big G. Google is also bringing casting capabilities to more devices, and as of this week you can now cast TikTok content from your phone to your Chromecast devices. That doesn't currently include live TikTok streaming but that's promised "soon".
Google is bringing Chromecast to more devices, including the 2024 LG TV series, and it'll also be bringing Chromecast to LG Hospitality and Healthcare sets so you can cast to hotel or hospital TVs where available. Later this year we'll also see a new casting feature that'll enable you to move music, audiobooks or podcasts from Spotify or YouTube Music from a Pixel phone to a docked Pixel Tablet so you can seamlessly transfer your playlist from your phone when you arrive home.
Google is also bringing some new features to the wider Google TV and Android TV ecosystem: it's going to be enabling select Google TV and Android TV devices to work as hubs for Matter, the smart home ecosystem. However there's no firm timescale for that: Google just says that "in the future, LG TVs and select Google TV and other Android TV OS devices will act as hubs for Google Home."