Google TV is getting a big audio upgrade – and better smart home features, too

Nest Audio support is imminent and Google has big plans for much better smart home integration

Chromecast with Google TV
(Image credit: Google)

Chromecast with Google TV upgrades just keep on coming. Just days after we discovered that Google's smart TV platform is getting 50 free-to-view TV channels, another upgrade has been announced. And if you haven't shelled out on one of the best soundbars for your TV, it could make a big difference: even the best TVs have fairly shonky sound quality, and the incoming Nest Audio support will enable you to use Nest Audio as part of a home theatre sound system. You won't be limited to Google hardware either: the audio features will also work with some third party speakers.

Google accidentally leaked the Nest Audio feature back in 2020 and then confirmed it to the Wall Street Journal a few days later, but it's taken nearly two years for the actual streaming to arrive. According to Protocol (opens in new tab), the Nest Audio support is coming before the end of this year – and that's not all. Google has big plans for its Google TV platform.

Chromecast, FitBit and better smart home features are coming to Google TV very soon

According to Protocol, at a closed-door event for key partners Google went into great detail about its plans for the Google TV platform. It wants the TV to be the central point of your smart home, with your speakers, security devices and even your FitBit all connecting to your living room hub. That means Apple Watch-style integration between the fitness app and Fitbits so you can have interactive video workouts at home, picture-in-picture monitoring of smart security devices so you can be alerted of unexpected visitors, better video chatting and more.

Not all of the new features are imminent. We'll see the Nest Audio support roll out in the next few months, and possibly fast pairing with Pixel Buds too. But the other features need hardware firms to get on board with Google's "better together" plans. Google wants them to embrace Bluetooth 5.0 or later, and to have 16GB of memory in smart TVs running Android 13. That's twice the memory of the current Chromecast with Google TV, which suggests an updated version of that is coming too.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).