Chromecast with Google TV still can’t use Nest Audio

One of the core features confirmed to be in the works for the Chromecast with Google TV, the ability to use Nest Audio as a speaker, still hasn’t launched.

This week, Google announced that the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV — and potentially all Google TV, Android TV, and Cast-enabled devices — can now watch the live video feed from their newer Nest cameras right on the TV. Some on Twitter were quick to point out a small resemblance to a previously leaked feature for Android TV and Google TV that would show notifications of a Nest Doorbell in picture-in-picture.

The announcement and subsequent discussion brought to mind some of the other features that Google had originally confirmed for the Chromecast with Google TV when it launched in late 2020. The most infamous of these probably came from a piece of ad copy unused by Google , which claimed that the new Chromecast could turn your Nest Audio speaker(s) into a “home theater sound system.”

Despite remaining unused – only appearing briefly in the Google search result – the company confirmed that Wall Street Journal that a way to connect one or more Nest Audio speakers to the Chromecast with Google TV was being worked on. In our review of the Nest Audio, we praised its well-rounded sound profile that lent itself well to music, but it would be easy to imagine the speaker being equally well suited to movies and games.

However, we’re just over two months away from the Chromecast’s two-year release anniversary with Google TV, and there’s been no movement to plug the dongle into any member of the Nest speaker lineup. The closest we’ve got is a tricky solution where a speaker group is created in the Google Home app that combines the Chromecast with your Nest speakers.

Using that trick, some Cast-compatible video streaming apps will show that speaker group as an available target. The downside, of course, is that the solution doesn’t work for native Android TV apps. The recent changes to Google Home’s speaker groups have also made this solution less convenient. As such, customers who own both the Chromecast with Google TV and Nest Audio have been eagerly awaiting the official solution from Google.

Right now, though, with just a loose confirmation that they were “working” on it at some point, it may be time to ever officially give up using Nest Audio as a speaker for a Chromecast.

However, if that were the case, it would clearly detract from Google’s Nest ecosystem compared to Apple’s and Amazon’s institutions. These days you can easily pair one or two Apple HomePod Mini speakers to an Apple TV, and Amazon’s Echo speakers can be paired the same way to a Fire TV device.

In some ways this is another lesson not to buy a product based on what it is should can do in the future. The blame isn’t entirely on Google in this case, as they never formally announced or promoted the potential feature, but it doesn’t make the situation any less disappointing.

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