Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Android's new Spotify and YouTube notification system sounds like a music streaming dream

Android is working with Spotify and YouTube music for an easy way to switch music playback across multiple devices.
Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Emery Wright
Android icon, speaker, headphones, and smartphone lined up next to each other alongside the slogan, "Everything works better together."

Picture this: you're in the car, blasting your ultimate hype-up song, wanting the good vibes to transfer straight to your earbuds or home speakers once you step out, but the multi-step process kills your mood. 

If you can relate, I have good news. Android may have just cracked the code to a seamless streaming switch. 

Also: Want the best Android phone? These are our top picks for the year

Today, at the CES showcase, Google announced its working with both Spotify and YouTube Music to create a dedicated notification system that allows users to quickly transfer music playback from device to device. Basically, listening from a car to wireless earbuds to a home speaker will be one pause-free experience. 

Android 13 gave us a taste of how the system worked when it first debuted its refreshed media player on an Android phone's lock screen. The media player allows users to quickly select which Bluetooth or Chromecast built-in devices they want to play their current audio on, and is currently compatible with YouTube and YouTube Music. 

Also: Android 13 is officially here. Only if you have the right kind of phone, that is

This year, Android has also been working with Spotify for users to leverage the new media player's switching capabilities on third-party platforms. 

Cartoon-like image of an Android phone playing music with a pop-up notification at the top, inviting the user to switch listening devices

Here's a snapshot of how the notification will appear on screen.


Google says it's also looking for a way to make its notification system a continuous audio remote so that you can start a podcast in your car, continue on your phone, and finish listening on your home TV. According to Google, users would receive notifications as they physically move from location to location, inviting them to transfer the audio source if another device is detected nearby. 

According to Google, it'll use UWB's more accurate location detection tech -- the same thing AirTags use to track -- instead of just relying on ultra wide banded Bluetooth and WiFI connection. 

Android has yet to give details about when exactly the notification system integration is set to launch nor the devices the continuous switching will be compatible with. What we do know is that unlike Apple, the compatible devices won't be limited to just those in its exclusive arsenal. 

We all know that a major selling point of Apple is its ability to inter-connect devices. Rather than just doing the same to compete, Google is casting an even wider net. 

In a recent interview with our sister-site, CNET, Google's VP of engineering for Android Erik Kay revealed that the purpose behind the improvement is to increase availability. To fulfill that mission, Google isn't cutting off audio communication with just Android first-party devices, meaning you can connect to anything from a JBL speaker, Google Nest, or any other Google partner. 

Google's new media share system is a part of its cross-device sharing promotion we've been seeing recently with features like Fast Pair and Nearby Share. And as Google further taps into smartphone's potential to easily cross-stream audio, it only seems fitting that it's bringing in Spotify and YouTube music as part of their vision for a one-tech family. 

Editorial standards