Skip to main content

Google builds out Fast Pair and Windows integration, but we want more

The new features announced at CES 2022 are a good start, but why can't we have Fast Pair and Nearby Share on every device?

Whether it's iMessage integration in macOS, quick file sharing via AirDrop, or the instant pairing of AirPods, the advantages of buying into Apple's ecosystem across multiple device categories are clear. Yet despite Google's dominance in mobile around the world and the growing popularity of Chromebooks and Android TV, the company hasn't been able to offer as seamless an experience when using all these devices alongside each other.

That's about to change in 2022, as Google looks to make the disparate parts of its ecosystem work better together — and to integrate more closely with Windows offer Apple-like functionality between phone and computer.

Quick Setup Chrome Os To Android

At CES 2022 earlier this month, Google announced a raft of new features designed to plug this vital ecosystem gap, with the main focus on Android and fast pairing. The new features are far-reaching: Everything from automatic sign-in on new Chromebooks, with a Chromecast-style setup process via your Android phone, to instant setup of Matter smart home devices from your Android handset.

While features like Message and notification sync on Chromebooks has been a thing for a while, Google's ecosystem endeavors for 2022 are far more ambitious than we've previously seen. They take aim at two major categories of pain points — setting up new gadgets and sharing between devices you own.

Apple-like interoperability between Google gadgets is finally starting to happen.

Google Fast Pair will arrive on Chromebooks and Google TV later this year, liberating more devices from the tedium of manual Bluetooth pairing. And the arcane combinations of button presses and power cycles involved in setting up new smart lighting will be done away with thanks to closer integration between Android phones and Matter gadgets.

If you're like me, though, the most exciting addition might be the arrival of Nearby Share support on Windows PCs, eliminating a major frustration that doesn't exist in the Apple ecosystem.

My enthusiasm around the Nearby Share on Windows is tempered by the fact that it'll only be supported on PCs from a limited number of manufacturers, at least initially. Nevertheless, all of these announcements show Google making big moves towards a world where, if you own Android or Google-powered gadgets, they can work together with minimal friction.

Windows PC + Android phone

Making everything "just work" with everything else won't be simple, nor will it happen overnight. Apple, with the tight control it enjoys over its entire range of products, retains an advantage in the pace it builds out new ways for its gadgets to interact. But the breadth of features planned for Windows in particular — fast pairing of audio gear, message sync and file sharing — is impressive, and you have to imagine it's a case of when and not if this is opened up to any capable PC.

It's also interesting to see further blurring of lines between Android and Windows, following the arrival of Android apps on Windows 11 this past year.

One possible reason Google won't support every PC at launch is that getting this stuff right is hard. For example, a look at Microsoft's Your Phone Companion app, which serves many of the same call, message and photo-sharing functions, reveals mixed reviews and a recent string of negative scores from frustrated users.

Getting this stuff right is hard, which is why Google is going slow.

Slow and steady

Google has a potential advantage just based on the fact that it's even thinking about competing platforms like Windows, though. So could macOS be next in line? Obviously, there's no way Apple would ever build this kind of functionality into its OS. But a third-party app from Google could easily achieve the same results, enabling Fast Pair and Nearby Share for the many people who use an Android phone with an Apple machine.

The current solution for juggling files between Android and Mac is the (extremely bad) Android File Transfer app, last updated in 2018. If you've used it, you probably already know how flaky this app is, especially if you're using an Android phone that's not a Google Pixel. A replacement is long overdue, and the excellent Google Drive app for macOS shows that it's perfectly capable of building apps that integrate natively into the Mac experience.

If the ecosystem wars of the last decade were about owning particular device categories — like mobile, desktop, or tablet — the battlefield for the next decade could center around owning the conduits that all those different categories of device use to interact as a sort of "soft power" over rival platforms.

With the latest expansion to Nearby Share, Fast Pair, and Matter support, Google is well on its way to doing just that.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Got a new Amazon Echo Show? Here's how to get it up and running.

The Amazon Echo Show devices are the only Alexa smart speakers that feature touchscreen displays. Available in 5-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch display sizes, the Echo Show is a countertop device that packs a lot of heat. Whether it's video calling via Zoom or Skype, streaming music from various providers such as Apple Music and Spotify, listening to Audible audiobooks, or watching Prime Video, you're sure to get a lot out of this device. This product line also comes in smaller versions such as the Echo Show 5 and the Echo Show 8 in case the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is a bit too much for your tastes. If this is your first time getting started with one of these dynamic devices, let us show you how to set up your Amazon Echo Show! How to set up your new Echo Show all models

Protect your kids by setting up a supervised YouTube account

YouTube Kids has been around since 2015 and has grown into a great place for children to explore what YouTube has to offer safely. In 2021, the company is expanding ways for younger viewers to see more of what's available from the streaming service, along with a more mature interface with supervised accounts. Instead of a separate app, these accounts will use the official YouTube app, so knowing how to set up a supervised account for kids on Youtube is important. If you want to protect your child from some of the less than appropriate content that can be seen on YouTube, then you'll want to be sure to have the supervised account properly set up. YouTube announced supervised accounts as a way for kids aged 9+ to see to more of what the service offers while still under the guidelines set by their parent. So, whether you have picked up one of the best phones for kids or maybe a tablet like the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 HD that has Google's Kids Space for your child, here&#

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review: Better phone, worse price

This upgrade is an uphill battle for Samsung thanks to steep competition. It's hard to believe that it's been a year and a half since Samsung redefined the "flagship killer" concept with the Galaxy S20 FE . At the time, the phone blew us away with its quality, delivering a true flagship experience for a significantly lower price than a "regular" Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S21 FE was rumored to be released the entire second half of 2021, and now it's finally here. The Galaxy S21 FE debuts with some of the expected upgrades over its predecessor but still retains many of the points that made the S20 FE a more affordable device. You won't find a brand new camera array on this phone when compared to 2020's device — that's a 12MP sensor for the main and ultra-wide lenses, while an 8MP sensor still resides behind the 3X telephoto lens — but Samsung has upgraded the styling to be more in line with the Galaxy S21 and the rumored look of the Galaxy

PS5 restocks: Here are the latest PS5 stock updates & how to find one

PS5 stock is selling out fast, so be sure to have your credit card ready. Looking to buy a PS5 ? Well, so are millions of other people. It doesn't help that stock levels remain really tight, even nearly a year after its launch. Every time a retailer puts stock up for sale, it sells out super quickly. The longest we here at Android Central have seen PS5s stay in stock is between 15 to 20 minutes (often just a few minutes, though). That's also at random times, so finding a PS5 is a truly challenging task. Sony warned it will be hard to find stock throughout the year and well into 2022, but retailers promise more are coming and that Sony has secured additional semiconductor chips to make them. In our PS5 review, we called the system a technical marvel with a groundbreaking controller. And after spending a few months with the PS5, it's nearly impossible to go back to the PS4. Everything about the PS5 is better , from the games to the DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive