Cross-device clipboards and screen casting, oh my!
Google I/O 2022 is rife with promising announcements, tighter integration between Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and Wear OS watches, to name a few. While it’ll take some time to achieve connectivity as seamless as Apple’s ecosystem, the small improvements do add up. Aside from Matter for the Google Home ecosystem and screencasting for Chromebooks and cars, Google’s supercharging the Phone Hub on Chromebooks for a better messaging experience.
If you use Google Messages on your Android phone, Phone Hub allows you to access and send texts from your Chromebook — either via direct interaction with a new message notification or through the Messages PWA pre-installed on most Chromebooks. However, with the arrival of Android 13 this fall, Google says it will expand the program’s capabilities to more platforms, allowing you to manage conversations from different messaging apps. Unlike the current experience, this will not require a PWA. Instead, it’ll work by streaming these apps from your phone straight to your Chromebook.
But that’s not all that’s new to Phone Hub. Soon after the UI arrived last year, we also tracked a possible augmentation that would allow users to view their phone’s screen right on their Chromebooks. Google said it was working on the casting feature during CES 2022. Its functionality was eventually demonstrated and that opened up the prospect of streaming apps to Windows and Mac computers. An I/O announcement on Google’s corporate blog suggests that the new Phone Hub experience could be closer than ever. Android 13 will also see the company improve the connectivity between Android phones and tablets, allowing you to copy and paste URLs and photos between them.
As the number of smart gadgets we use increases, Google says it’ll continue to work with its partners to make multi-device connectivity as seamless as possible.
UPDATE: 05/14/2022 09:58 EST BY JULES WANG
We’ve updated this article with additional details from Google.
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