With the support for Android apps on Chrome OS, Google already offers some sort of integration between the two operating systems. The unannounced Phone Hub feature is said to take this integration to the next level. As per the new code change request, the Phone Hub will get an option to ring the connected Android smartphone remotely.
This new feature is also mentioned to be part of the FindMyDevice feature, which is already available on Google devices. With the Google Assistant on Chrome OS, the users can ask Google to ring their smartphone. However, the Phone Hub will allow the users to do with the click of a button.
Upcoming Phone Hub feature on Chrome OS can ring connected phones
As of now, the Phone Hub is in early-stage development. A few of these options might not even make it to the final version. Once released, the Phone Hub can be found in the "Connected devices" section in the Chromebooks' settings menu. Moreover, Chrome OS users can access and manage notifications from their Android smartphone.
Another exciting feature of the Phone Hub is the Task Continuation. It could let the users continue using the Android app on Chromebook from where they left off on the Android smartphone. All these new features will be part of Google's "Better Together" initiative.
No need to install a separate app on Android smartphones
Unlike Microsoft's Your Phone app, there is no need to install an additional app on your Android smartphone for the Phone Hub to function. It will be part of the built-in Google Play Services and needs active Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.
The seamless integration between both operating systems is limited to options like Instant Tethering and Smart Lock in the current stage. With the Smart Lock, the Chromebook can be unlocked via a connected smartphone. The Instant Tethering offers Mac OS-like automatic Wi-Fi hotspot connection for using smartphone's data.
The Phone Hub is expected to make its official debut with the upcoming Chrome OS 86 update. With Chrome OS 86, the company might also introduce HDR video playback on the supported Chromebooks. Also, expect to see the media control button on the right side of the system shelf.
While the current app icons on Chromebooks come in different shapes, the upcoming major update will change all of them to circular icons. As of now, Google is expected to release the Chrome OS 86 update in mid-October.