The ability to build speaker groups that play music in your home is one of the best features of Google’s Assistant ecosystem. Now Google is allowing Android TV devices to be connected to a speaker party.
Google’s apparently allowed all Android TV devices to work with speaker groups through an update to the Chromecast Built-in app. Most of the users who got this work were on Nvidia Shield TV models and I was able to confirm that on my unit too.
I was trying to get stuff going on Google’s ADT-3 developer device as well, but I wasn’t able to get the built-in Chromecast app to update even with a sideloaded APK. The app had been installed on an AirTV Mini device and after a reboot I was able to get it to appear in the Google Home app.
The @AndroidTV rumor on Twitter has pointed out that entering the Chromecast Built-in beta on the Play Store is an simple way to get in on this updated version. That should move the updated version into your device within a little while.
How was this enabled by Google? Well for one, the speaker group feature has been a glaring omission for a while — why would Android TV devices not be operating with this? However, the timing tells me that this feature has now been enabled by Google in preparation for the second-gen Chromecast Ultra which we exclusively reported on earlier this year. The original Chromecast Ultra supports speaker classes, but failing to allow the second-gen to have feature parity on Android TV would mean it does not.