Smarthome: Other phones can have what the Google Pixel lacks

Sonos has made drastic changes for users of Google’s smart home hardware with a win. But it also affects those who also use a Google Pixel phone.

  • Sonos has won a lawsuit against Google.
  • The US group had to change its products.
  • But only to the detriment of Pixel users?

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A few days ago, Google suffered a significant defeat against Sonos in court. Some patents have been infringed upon. Google had to react and remove various functions from its own devices, including the Nest speakers and also the Pixel phones. Curiosities are revealed in the publicly accessible source code.

Pixel: only the owners of Google phones suffer?

Google has only switched off a function that is firmly anchored in Android via an update on its own phones. Only one value has to be changed for this – to “false” instead of “true”. The volume control of a loudspeaker group from the smartphone is no longer possible. But that only applies to Pixel phones, as colleague Mishaal Frames discovered.

He says in an analysis on “But it also offers OEMs an easy way to ship their own devices with the feature enabled. All an OEM would need to do is build AOSP (Android) with GMS (Google services) and keep the default value (true) for the config_volumeAdjustmentForRemoteGroupSessions flag.”

This is of course very strange. Other Android manufacturers seem to be able to easily use what the Pixel phones would be banned from selling. Now it will be exciting to see if the circumstances will remain the same. However, Google is likely to work on another method so that Pixel owners can once again more easily control entire groups of speakers. We really hope so at this point!

Two major Android updates later this year

Android 12L is the first chance and in the fall Android 13 will be the next. In my opinion, it is currently highly unsatisfactory that we can no longer change the volume of all Nest speakers in a group with a single command.

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