Skip to main content

Phone Hub and Nearby Share should have come to Chromebooks years ago

Google has us use the cloud for everything, so why did it take this long for your phone to work better with your Chromebook?

Chromebooks are now 10 years old and Google recognized the milestone with an announcement about some features that a lot of us have been wanting for a while. Some, like an expanded clipboard that can hold more than one copied item at once, were nice surprises but there are two features that should have been part of Chrome OS since it launched: Phone Hub and Nearby Share.

In the end, the best features are the ones you'll enjoy using.

Yes, both are newish ideas "borrowed" from Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS, but they are ideas that are so Google-like I can't believe they didn't originate in the Mountain View thinktank.

In case you aren't sure what these are and what they can do, they are ways to make your Chromebook communicate with your Android phone. Phone Hub for a Chromebook is a little different than how it's done between a Windows 10 PC and your Samsung phone, though. Besides mirroring notifications, it gives some control over features like your phone's hotspot, can find your phone like a Tile tag, lets you sync browser tabs between Chrome on Android and the Chromebook's browser. It's a nice feature and I'll bet it becomes quite popular.

Nearby Share is an Apple AirDrop clone. You select something to share, tap the share icon and you can choose any device in range to share it with as long as Nearby Share is enabled. Unfortunately, it only works with Android and now Chrome OS, so you'll still need to use the old-fashioned ways to share with iPhone users or any other laptop.

Both of these features have one thing in common — they could have existed for a long time using some Google computer in the cloud as the middleman. The mechanism for sharing notifications has been around since the first Android Wear watch back in 2014 and notifications are the one thing Wear OS gets right today. The first consumer Chromebook automatically synchronized with Google Drive on day one. Any Google Assistant / Google Home compatible device uses an automatic discovery option over a network, and Bluetooth file sharing has been a thing forever.

With all these mechanisms in place and some of the smartest developers and engineers ever working for Google, I can't understand why it took so long to make a Chromebook — Google's answer to desktop-class mobile computing — more attuned to your Android phone.

While Microsoft is busy trying new ideas, the only real mobile competition Google has is from Apple. Apple has implemented its own version of features that tie iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks together in a lot of similar ways, and people really do use those features. People using the best Android phones and Chromebooks or more budget-friendly Android phones and Chromebooks will use them, too. These are the kinds of things that increase productivity, but more importantly, increase the enjoyment of using the products by being easy and effective.

Google's products should work together this way. It's about time.

They are also the kinds of features that need to be filched from the competition in some form. Forget about any smartphone war that might exist between tech companies; Apple and Google both regularly "borrow" ideas from each other and oftentimes improve them. In the end, we benefit because they make the products we buy even better.

I know a software developer can't just snap their fingers and make things happen without a lot of work, and maybe it really took this long to figure things out. But I also know these are the sort of things people expected when they first heard about a new mobile-focused laptop from Google. I hope more and even better "mobile" features are in the works for Chromebooks and I hope we see them before the 20th anniversary of Chrome OS.



Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

How to watch England vs New Zealand: Live stream 2nd Test series cricket on

With the first Test ending in a draw, the series is on a knife edge at Edgbaston, as Joe Root's side look to put off the field controversies to one side and claim a much needed win against the Kiwis. Don't miss a single ball of the 2nd Test with our England vs New Zealand live stream guide below. The series has been somewhat overshadowed by the emergence of offensive historic tweets posted by Ollie Robinson who made his debut in the opening Test but has since been suspended. With the controversy still brewing amid interventions from politicians and accusations leveled at other members of the team, Root has a battle on his hands to keep his side focused on the game ahead. One positive for Root coming into the game is that they'll be playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Egbaston, with the overwhelming majority of the expected 18,000 spectators set to be cheering on the home side. The tourists have been delivered a huge blow coming intot his final match, with s

6 things Apple stole from Android at WWDC— and one that Google should steal

Every year, Apple and Google trade ideas for their newest versions of iOS and Android, respectively. But this year, during Apple's WWDC 2021, it seems like Apple purloined more than a few ideas that Google's integrated into Android over the last few years. Millions of iOS users won't get their hands on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 until later this year, so until then, we don't know until then how the new features will fare in the real world. For now, here's a tongue-in-cheek look at six features Apple, um, borrowed from Android with its latest software releases. Jump to: iPad widgets and app drawer Live Text Apple Maps AR navigation iOS notifications New Siri capabilities Apple Photos Bonus: What Google needs to steal iPad widgets and app drawer iPad OS 15 introduced two big new updates for the iPad home screen today: widgets and the App Library. If you think this sounds awfully familiar, there's a good reason for that. 2020's iOS 14 introduced both

Every armor set in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Armor up Ratchet and Rivet before taking down their enemies. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart features several armor sets that both Ratchet and Rivet can wear throughout the game, giving them damage buffs and other benefits. Each armor set is comprised of three pieces; the helmet, chest, and boots. Without all three pieces of a complete set, you won't get their collection bonus buffs. Thankfully, each map tells you exactly where to find the armor you need. It's then all about exploring the area and picking it up. You'll find most pieces within optional dimensional rifts that feature platforming puzzles of some kind, and there are eight total sets to be found. Here's every armor set in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and the buffs that they offer: Galactic Ranger Description: The classic helmet of the Solana Galactic Rangers. The Galactic Rangers' chest armor is forged with justice and Raritarium. The Galactic Rangers' pants protect the galaxy... and your legs

Best Roku Stick deals May 2021: $30 off Roku Ultra, Streambar and more

Transforming nearly any TV into a smart TV is affordable and easy with a Roku streaming stick. These tiny devices plug into your TV's HDMI port to unlock access to a world of streaming services, live TV channels, and other apps that will never leave you without entertainment. While prices are rather comparable to its main competition, the Amazon Fire TV Stick , Roku's devices have a few interesting features you won't find on a Fire stick. Roku Ultra - HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos | $31 off at Amazon The Roku Ultra is the fastest, most powerful Roku streaming device so far, and it's even compatible with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for a more cinematic experience. It has a better wireless range than other models as well. Today's deal saves you over $30 off its regular price. $69 at Amazon Once you've plugged in your new Roku streaming device, you can download the Roku app and use it as a remote or even plug headphones into your phone and listen to