If you've always envied the way users who chose the Apple ecosystem can stop using a device and pick up right where they left off on another, you might soon get the same chance to do the same thing with Google’s Chrome OS. It sounds like Google could be ready to take a page out of Apple’s playbook if a new series of findings are to be believed.
9to5Google (opens in new tab) reports that there’s evidence of a special tool buried in some of Chrome OS's recent updates that might allow users to resume and continue activities from their Android smartphone on their Chromebook. This feature, with the internal name of "Android Phone Hub," would offer a "UI for users to view information about their Android phone and perform phone-side actions within Chrome OS."
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If that reminds you of Apple’s Handoff feature, that’s probably because the description is very similar to what Apple devices owners already enjoy. With Handoff, those users are able to move tasks between any Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch that meets Apple’s Continuity system requirements. With each device signed into iCloud using the same Apple ID with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled, you’re able to open a compatible app on one device — such as Safari, Mail, iMessages — and pick it up seamlessly on another.
That's how the Android Phone Hub appears to operate. It will also apparently be able to mirror notifications from Android devices so that users can respond to them using their Chromebook.
But that's not all. The functionality could even potentially offer users the ability to use their Android phones from their PC to make calls, control music, and even compose messages, much like Microsoft's current "Your Phone" app.
When to expect Android Phone Hub
Google has yet to comment on 9to5Google's findings, but if this is indeed a feature that's in the early stages of planning, it likely won't be available just yet in the near future. However, with integration already somewhat baked into Chrome OS — such as accessing your Android phone's data, messages, and more via Chromebook — it only makes sense that Google would seek to further this type of connectivity between devices.
There's no indication in the files hidden within Chrome OS of any sort of impending release, but we do know that Google is hard at work on perfecting a file transfer system that shares much in common with Apple's AirDrop tech. Nearby Sharing is expected to be as useful as its iOS counterpart, and it's been in the wild for some time now. Users can test that particular feature right now, but there's no way to currently monitor or deploy Android Phone Hub.
If there are indeed changes afoot, it’s likely Google will come forth to shed some light on the potential updates soon enough.