Android 12 has reportedly disabled the ability to change the volume by pressing the volume button while casting audio to an external device. According to a tweet from Mishaal Rahman, a reliable Android tipster, Android 12 quietly disabled the ability to change the volume of a cast session by pressing the volume key on any screen. However, he mentions that this feature will be re-enabled in Android 12L.
It’s quite interesting to see that the disabling of volume button events is not a technical bug. A Googler mentioned on Google’s IssueTracker website that this was due to “a legal issue.” However, the exact reason for this is not clear as there’s no official word from Google regarding this issue. Developers have reported that the volume button events are not delivered to VolumeProviderCompat, a piece of code that handles requests to adjust or set the volume on a session.
All Apps That Cast Audio are Affected
The temporary removal of the ability to change volume by pressing the volume keys while casting audio has affected all audio-casting apps. Users who cast audio to an external device cannot adjust the volume by pressing the volume buttons on their phones. They need to press the physical volume buttons on the external device to change the volume of a cast session. For example, Spotify users cannot adjust the volume by pressing the volume keys on their phone if they’re casting music on an external device.
Users report that when they click the Volume button (up or down), the system skips the event and does not pass the information to the Spotify app. This happens irrespective of whether the phone screen is turned on or off.
We don’t know why Google has disabled this feature, but seeing a Googler mention some “legal” reason, we believe this could be related to the recent Sonos vs. Google lawsuit. However, things will get clear in the coming weeks.