Microsoft and Samsung enjoy a rather cozy partnership that integrates Samsung’s Android phones and Windows 10 PCs almost seamlessly. On select models, one can even run Android apps on desktops and laptops as if they were native Windows programs. It seems almost ironic, then, that Android and Chrome OS don’t have that, considering they’re made by one and the same company. The could be changing soon and the Chrome OS Phone Hub could indeed allow users to stream apps from their phone to their Chromebook.
On second thought, it might not really be that surprising to realize how wide the gap is between Chrome OS and Android, despite the common parent. Google has always been a gigantic company where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Of course, Google has been bridging the gap between its two platforms but there is definitely a lot of work to be done.
XDA unearthed evidence from the latest version of Google Play Service pointing to an even more intimate bridge. That evidence, unfortunately, were just strings of text talking about the ability to “Stream apps to your Chromebook”. Of course, it isn’t enabled yet so the site didn’t have any opportunity to test what it would have looked like.
There also isn’t much information on how Google will be implementing this feature. It has reportedly been working on a technology that builds upon WebRTC, which is used primarily for video chats, to sync video and send data between devices in both directions. More importantly, however, this feature was noted to be dependent on Google Play Services and may even be exclusive to Pixel phones.
This closer bridge between Chrome OS and Android is long overdue, especially considering how different Windows laptop vendors have already been implementing something similar for almost years now. It was just yesterday, even, that Google announced Chrome OS support for Android’s Nearby Share, making it painless to share things between Chromebooks and Android devices.