Google has been working on new Android and Chromebook features that better bridge the gap between phones and laptops over the past year. Today, ChromeOS version 103 comes with a few features to improve how Chromebooks connect to Android phones.
There’s a new photo addition to ChromeOS’s Phone Hub feature announced last year. With the 103 ChromeOS update, you’ll be able to quickly access the latest photos taken on your phone inside the Phone Hub. It’s an easy way to avoid emailing yourself a photo or digging through Google Photos to find your recent photos. It works even when you are offline.
Google is also improving its Nearby Share feature for connecting a Chromebook to any saved Wi-Fi network on an Android phone. This will make it easier if a friend or family member has a Chromebook and needs to connect to your Wi-Fi, and it’s a neat way to easily share Wi-Fi passwords between Apple’s iOS devices and Macs. Matches integration.
In fact, Google’s new ChromeOS additions this week are part of a broader effort to match Apple’s ecosystem integration and Microsoft’s Phone Link work. Google calls its initiative “Better Together,” and throughout 2022, it will be rolling out software features that improve the way Android, Chromebooks, and all Bluetooth-connected devices work together.
Google is working on a system that allows any messaging app on your phone to be mirrored on a Chromebook, allowing direct access to third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram on Chromebooks.
Google’s “Fast Pair” framework will also make it easier to pair Bluetooth headphones this summer. The Chromebook will automatically detect when a new pair of Bluetooth headphones are nearby, and a pop-up notification will make it easy to pair. It’s similar to the seamless pairing available in Windows or with AirPods on Mac.
Google says that “better together” features will be available later this year and it will share “more exciting Chromebook announcements this summer.”