Google's Chrome OS is currently limited in how it handles Android files in the native file browser app, but that will soon be changing with the addition of the ability to view and work with those files in their own separate pane. A newly discovered code commit that mentions this feature describes an item in the left-hand pane of the file manager that will bring the Android file system within a given Chrome OS device into view, and allow you to work with those files in the same way you would with native Chrome OS files. It was tested on a Google Pixelbook and shown to work fine already, XDA Developers reports.
If you're on a bleeding-edge build of Chrome OS Canary, you should soon be able to get the feature by enabling the "show-android-files-in-files-app" flag. After enabling that flag, just head over to the left pane in the file manager and you'll see the option to view Android files. You'll be able to view the entire Android file system, sans system files of course. This means that you can even view and work with files in apps' internal directories so that you can do things like work with media assets from apps, share pictures created in photo manipulation apps, and pull downloaded files from apps like browsers and download managers.
Previously, working with Android files could only be done using a file manager for Android, and pushing those files into Chrome OS could only be done via a cloud service like Google Drive or by emailing them to yourself. This change will remove those limitations, essentially making the Android and Chrome OS file systems on a device exist in the same space. This was already largely the case within the underlying Linux ecosystem, but without the user being able to actually address those files in a single place, there could be no transmission of files between systems without extreme measures to access the two file systems synchronously. Naturally, this upcoming commit implies a larger chance for further convergence between Android and Chrome OS, a path that the two operating systems have been on for quite some time now.