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Google's latest Android, PC, and automotive announcements for CES 2022

Yahoo Finance tech editor Daniel Howley talks with Google's Vice President of Engineering for multi-devices, Erik Kay. The discussion ranges around Google's CES announcments such as Fast Pair, multi device experiences, and Android for Cars feature.

Video Transcript

DAN HOWLEY: This is Yahoo Finance's coverage of CES 2022 presented by Verizon. I'm Dan Howley, and we're here with Google VP of Engineering Erik Kay. Erik, thank you so much for joining us. And I just kind of want to jump right to it as far as Google's announcements at CES.

I know that you guys are talking about a number of significant software changes across the board for Google's disparate consumer items, really making sure that they all kind of communicate better, form a more cohesive whole of an ecosystem. I guess if you just want to kick off and give us an idea of some of the changes and we can just take it from there.

ERIK KAY: Thanks, Dan. Yeah, we're building on our work from Google I/O this past year and introducing even more simple and helpful ways-- multi-device experiences, things that will help make it easier to set up and connect your devices, to lock and unlock them for easier more secure access, to get more things done as you're moving from device to device. And for the first time, we're bringing some of these experiences to Windows-based PCs.

DAN HOWLEY: So I know, you know, obviously, Windows and Android, kind of when you're a Windows user, you're probably an Android user and vice versa. What kind of ways are you making it so that it's easier to, I guess, say, maybe message people or things along those lines when you're going from your phone to your PC?

ERIK KAY: Right. So the initial features we're going to be bringing to Windows will be file-sharing through Nearby Share, so that you can more easily move files back and forth between your Android devices and your PC, as well as Fast Pair, so that you can use your peripherals like headphones and more quickly connect them across both your Android device and your PC. But we're looking forward to bringing many of the same experiences-- the rest of the experiences that we have in Chrome OS today to Windows over time as well.

DAN HOWLEY: And I know one of the things, obviously, with Fast Pairing is that it just incredibly improves convenience of setting up a pair of wireless earbuds, like the Pixel Buds. You know, what kind of thinking goes into that? How is it going to be easier? And will we see it across multiple devices as far as what you'll be able to pair with?

ERIK KAY: Yeah, absolutely. So we're also bringing Fast Pair to Android TV and Google TV as well. And we're expanding Fast Pair beyond just setting up hearables, earbuds, but also using it to actually set up other devices like your Chromebook, like your Wear OS Watch, and even your smartphone connected devices through Matter. So basically, Fast Pair becomes the great simple UI for connecting and sharing your devices.

DAN HOWLEY: I guess, what would the setup be like for that-- I take out my phone, and talk to my Chromebook, and it would say, OK, you're Dan, let's just grab everything about you and put it on the Chromebook the way you just kind of want to have it. And then you're ready to rock.

ERIK KAY: Well, so the way you've experienced it with earbuds is as soon as you turn on those earbuds for the first time, a little pop-up shows up on your phone, and it recognizes that device, and just makes it one or two taps and you've got it set up. So if you imagine the same thing happening with a Chromebook.

It'll automatically push over your Wi-Fi credentials and get your account credentials on there ready to go. So essentially, just with a couple of taps on your phone, you're ready to go with your new Chromebook or your new watch.

DAN HOWLEY: So it really kind of takes the issue of setup and I have to enter all these different logins or, you know, 8,000 different passwords, which I don't remember-- it'll make it a little bit easier there.

ERIK KAY: Yeah, absolutely.

DAN HOWLEY: And you know, one of the things that I know that Google has talked about in the past has been working with automotive. You know, there's some announcements that you guys have there as far as being able to access your vehicle through your phone. What can you tell us? And when can we expect to see that from different auto manufacturers?

ERIK KAY: Well, Android for cars, you know, has always been a multi-device experience, and having a lot of deep connections with your phone. What we're announcing today is automotive actions for the Assistant. So basically, from any Assistant-enabled device, you're going to be able to to talk to and communicate with your car.

So for example, I can warm up my car without leaving my home. Or I could check to see what the charge level is in the battery or if the doors are locked or unlocked. You're going to see this coming first with select mobile cars in 2022 and more cars over time.

DAN HOWLEY: So I'll just be able to say, you know, hey Google-- and I'm making sure that I don't have any Google devices lit up right now so it doesn't just kick on-- but you'll be able to say something like, hey, Google, start my car, get the air conditioner going-- or get the heater going here in New York-- and it would kind of work along those lines similar to basically saying, hey, Google, turn the lights on or get my air conditioner going at home. Is that kind of how it would work?

ERIK KAY: Exactly. Exactly. So just like the rest of your smart connected home, you know, the car becomes part of that fabric.

DAN HOWLEY: OK, great. Well, Erik Kay, VP of Engineering at Google, thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

ERIK KAY: Thanks, Dan.