Google’s Phone Hub, which enables closer connectivity between Android phones and Chromebooks, is getting some much-needed enhancements. With the arrival of Android 13, the platform will allow you to receive and send messages from your Chromebook via any messaging app installed on your Android phone. This ability is currently limited to the Google Messages app.
In a blog post published as part of the Google I/O conference yesterday, Google said you will be able to stream messaging apps from your Android phone straight to your Chromebook with Phone Hub. If you’re working on your laptop and receive a message on your phone, you can reply directly from the laptop. No need to pick up the phone. Likewise, you can also send new messages from your Chromebook.
Of course, these abilities aren’t new if you use Google Messages. But as Android Police notes, the current iteration either uses direct interaction with a new message notification or you need to have the Messages PWA (progressive web app) installed on your Chromebook. It does come pre-installed on most Chromebooks but that’s not the point. Google is fundamentally changing how Phone Hub works to enable a better cross-device messaging experience.
Phone Hub on Chromebooks can already do a lot of other things. You can quickly enable/disable the hotspot on your phone, locate (ring) the phone if you have misplaced it, or put it on silent mode. Additionally, you can access your recent Chrome tabs from your phone and dismiss notifications. Phone Hub also enables Smart Lock, which lets you log in to your Chromebook by unlocking your phone, without needing to type in a pin or a password. It lets you share Wi-Fi networks across your devices as well. Last but not least, Phone Hub allows your Chromebook to use your phone’s internet connection.
Google has more plans for a seamless multi-device connectivity
Android 13 will improve the connectivity between Android phones and tablets in more ways. According to Google, the new Android version will allow you to “copy and paste a URL or photo from your Android phone to your tablet and vice versa”. The company says it has many more such multi-device connectivity features in the plans for the future.
Android 13 is currently in the public beta phase for Google’s Pixel phones as well as select devices from other brands. The stable rollout is expected to begin this fall. We will keep you posted.