Google’s Chromecast protocol is supported by a wide range of streaming sticks and smart TVs. You know, the thing that allows you to stream a movie from your phone to a big screen. However, due to a “legal dispute,” Google has disabled one of Chromecast’s key features in Android 12—the ability to control the volume of your smart TV or streaming stick from your phone.
One of the Chromecast protocol’s distinguishing features is that it eliminates the need for a TV remote. If you’re watching a YouTube video on your phone, you can easily cast it to your TV and control volume or playback with your phone’s volume rockers and touchscreen.
However, as Android 12 beta testers discovered in August, the new operating system disables smartphone volume control for Chromecast. We initially thought this was a bug, but now that Pixel users can install Android 12, it’s clear that Google made this change on purpose.
So, what exactly is going on here? According to a support thread discovered by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor of Esper, Google was unable to implement Chromecast volume control on Android 12 due to a “legal issue.” The feature is expected to be reinstated in the upcoming Android 12L release.
While we don’t know what the “legal issue” is, it could be the recent preliminary ruling in Sonos’ lawsuit against Google. Sonos claims that Google violated several of its smart speaker patents and has even called for a sales ban on some Google hardware, including Chromecasts.
If you’re an Android 12 Chromecast user, you can only control streaming volume via your TV’s remote or the Google Home app. You can also use Android 12’s new “Device Controls” tile to control the volume of your TV from your phone.