Android 15 Introduces Bluetooth Auracast for Audio Sharing

Android 15 Introduces Bluetooth Auracast for Audio Sharing

For individuals who often travel in groups with friends or family, the challenge of sharing audio content, such as movies or playlists, arises due to current Bluetooth limitations that restrict streaming to a single device at a time. However, the Bluetooth LE Audio standard, along with its Auracast feature, presents a solution to this issue.

Auracast Feature Overview

Auracast facilitates the broadcasting of audio to nearby devices using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Unlike conventional Bluetooth methods, Auracast eliminates the need for pairing between the transmitting and receiving devices.

In essence, envision your smartphone as a miniature radio tower, transmitting an audio stream that can be picked up by other compatible devices.

Enhanced Audio Sharing Capabilities

While some smartphones already possess audio-sharing functionalities, they are often limited to specific ecosystems. For instance, Samsung phones offer a feature called “Dual Audio,” permitting media audio to be sent to two different Bluetooth devices simultaneously, but this functionality is restricted to select Samsung devices. Similarly, Apple's "Share Audio" feature only works between iPhones.

In contrast, Auracast is accessible to any device or platform that licenses the technology from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the regulatory body for Bluetooth standards.

Android 15 Introduces Bluetooth Auracast for Audio Sharing

Implementation of Auracast

Although Auracast was announced in 2022, it has already been embraced by smartphone manufacturers. As Bluetooth LE Audio becomes a standard feature, the landscape is evolving.

A significant development is the native integration of a dedicated “audio sharing” page in Android 15, enabling users to manage Auracast streams efficiently. This feature allows users to discover, connect to, or commence their Auracast broadcasts.

Mishal Rahman, in a blog post on Android Authority, successfully activated the Auracast feature on a Pixel 8 Pro running Android 15 Beta 1.1, establishing a connection with Samsung Galaxy devices running One UI 6.1. Notably, this connection required Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro earbuds, which support Auracast.

Utilizing Auracast on Android 15

To initiate an Auracast stream on Android 15, users need to navigate to Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences > Audio sharing. Here, a toggle for “share audio” can be activated to commence the broadcast.

For added security, users can set a custom broadcast name and password under “stream settings” or generate a QR code for others to scan and join the stream.

Upon successful connection, both devices will play the same audio through their respective earbuds. It is crucial to note that Auracast supports one-way broadcasts, meaning connected devices cannot control playback on the source device.

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