Android and ChromeOS devices could become best friends in the near future as Google is reportedly working on better integration of the two platforms.
Clues to this decision have been discovered by an industry expert AssembleDebug on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) which recently dove into Google Play Services version 24.06.12 files. After enabling several internal flags, he discovered that two new features are currently in development and that some sections will be renamed to better accommodate the changes. As 9To5Google points out, Device Connections will be renamed to Devices & Sharing, and there’s a new option called Cross-Device Services.
By first tapping the section, users can choose which Android phones and Chromebooks they want on their multi-device network. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of gadgets you can connect at the same time. It also looks like you can send mass invites to nearby hardware during this time. Once setup is complete, you have access to the aforementioned features. Keep in mind that it’s unclear how exactly these tools work, although there are short descriptions under each offering an overview.
Cross-device services in Google Play Services ✓ Call Cast ✓ Wifi Sharing ✓ Hotspot Sharing Might be enabled in the next Play Services beta. Screenrecord is from version 24.06.12, enabled with many flags.#Google #Android pic.twitter.com/bvUbnYbB9dFebruary 9, 2024
Call Cast presumably lets you switch between devices during calls, but it “only works with certain apps.” Internet sharing, on the other hand, is more nebulous. Judging by the text on the screen, this will give users a way to share their hotspot connection as well as their Wi-Fi password with devices that are members of a group. This saves you from having to re-enter your password every time you want to add another phone.
That’s about all we can gather from this latest information. Given that AssembleDebug was able to trigger the update and the interface is almost complete, we think it’s safe to say that the fix will be deployed fairly soon. It’s unclear when exactly it will be released, but Android Police, in its coverage, predicts that it will be released next month for Google’s March feature, alongside other updates. These include the eSIM transfer tool as well as Bluetooth quick settings.
As with any leak, take all the details here with a grain of salt. Things could change at any moment. That said, if released as is, it would be a great upgrade for today’s mobile environment. Chromebooks already offer multi-device connectivity to Androids, but it’s mostly limited to app streaming. Such a usability improvement could allow Google to finally establish a hardware ecosystem similar to Apple’s.
While we suggest you check out TechRadar’s roundup of the best Chromebooks for 2024.
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