One of my favorite little ChromeOS features that’s been around for quite some time is the global media control widget. It’s moved around over the years and it is also present in the Chrome browser for non-ChromeOS hardware, but the gist has largely remained the same: if media is playing from your device or on your local network via a casting session, the global media controls will pick up on this and let you quickly pause, play, or skip tracks from the shelf without having to hunt down the source of the media itself.
While I don’t rely on this feature as my primary media controller on most days, it comes in handy many times when I simply need to quickly change a track, stop the music regardless of who is casting, or locate rogue audio playback that I need silenced for one reason or another. It’s a very useful tool once you remember it is there, and it is about to become even more useful with an upcoming addition.
Thanks to some changes being submitted in the Chromium Repositories, we can see that the global media controls feature will soon have the ability to change cast devices right from the widget. As it stands right now, the widget gives users a simple display of where the cast session is located and allows for that session to be dismissed from the global media controls widget, but that is all.
It has no ability at the moment to actually move that casting session to another device or to take locally playing media and cast it to an external source. That will all change when these new modifications happen and if full-blown cast session control becomes easy from the global media controls widget, it only means I’ll be using it that much more. We’ll be keeping an eye on this change, but the fact that the feature flag is already merged tells me it isn’t too far from becoming a reality for ChromeOS users across the board.