Google’s integration of Android phones with Chrome OS still requires much work. It does have features such as text/RCS sync, Hotspots and smart lock. But there’s a lot of room for more. Well, that is about to change now as a code change on Gerrit has revealed that features like notifications and task continuations are making their way to Chrome OS soon.
Spotted by 9to5Google, a new “Phone Hub” feature has been added to chrome://flags. The description says that the feature will provide a UI for users to view information about their Android phone and perform phone-side actions within the Chrome OS.
While the Phone Hub description is self-evident of a new and more intuitive UI than before, another find has hinted that phone-side actions might just be more than messaging. Digging deeper, 9to5Google was able to find another code change with more insights.
As per the snippet, the Phone Hub will be found in a whole new section under the connected devices tab. The new section will include new settings like Notifications, Notification badge, and Task continuation. This suggests that users will finally be able to see Notifications from Android phones more than what “Better Together” currently offers on their Chromebooks.
However, the placement of the same and the functionality of the Notification badge is yet to be known. Furthermore, 9to5Google predicts that the task continuation feature will let users continue their left-off work on Android Phone from their Chromebooks seamlessly. If Google can pull this off well enough, it can add a lot of utility to Chrome OS.
This could mean moving chrome tabs between devices with a simple switch, Google Drive’s ambient computing whereby an instant sync could allow people to complete tasks like presentations, writing, accessing photos on-the-go without needing the primary device.
While these are not exactly specified in the code changes, there is a possibility that the early development could take steps forward in the said direction. Also, it is found that the devices will connect via Bluetooth to access the Phone Hub but we are not sure if a separate app like Microsoft’s YourPhone will be needed for it.
Despite sharing similarities, Chrome OS and Android have not tied themselves up unlike the cross-platform Windows so far. With the new change, we expect things to get better in the future but we will have to wait for an official word on these features.