Google practically has two major computing platforms, three if you consider the Web, and, once upon a time, these two didn’t meet. Today, Chrome OS can almost be considered that one Google OS to rule them all, and its integration with Android is only about to get even deeper. There has been development afoot in a wider bridge between Chrome OS and a connected Android phone, and tomorrow might see a new feature that will finally let you mirror your Android phone’s apps on your Chromebook.
It’s almost embarrassing that Windows PCs have had this ability for longer than Google’s own operating system. This is best exemplified by the partnership between Samsung and Microsoft that even allowed apps from a Galaxy phone to run in its own window as if it were a native Windows app. While Chrome OS has long had the ability to install and run Android apps from Google Play Store, this upcoming feature would actually pull the apps that are already installed and configured on your smartphone.
Chrome OS users and fans may be familiar with such functionality that has been rumored for a few months now. Believed to be called “Android Push,” this feature would utilize the same WebRTC technology used by web-based video chats to stream a Pixel phone’s screen to a Chromebook. The new feature discovered by XDA’s Mishaal Rahman, however, is a bit more nuanced and probably more limited.
According to the tech journalist, this feature that would fall under the existing Phone Hub would allow users to temporarily access their phone’s apps from their Chromebook. The theory is that when a notification from the phone is received, a user can click on that notification, and the appropriate app for it would be launched without having to install it on the Chromebook. Unlike phone mirroring, however, this sounds like a brief interaction only, as hinted by the word “temporarily” in the description.
This feature is apparently already in Chrome OS but isn’t live yet. There is speculation that this will be introduced as part of the Pixel 6 announcement tomorrow, which would mean it might be exclusive to Google’s phones for some time.