Chromebooks get new features for tighter integration with Android devices
Google is bringing quality of life improvements by tightening up the integration between Chromebook and Android. New Phone Hub features, Nearby Share improvements, and Bluetooth connectivity optimizations make up a new batch of features rolling out to Chromebook and Android users.
Phone Hub is getting improvements aimed at giving Chromebook users a distraction-free experience. To date, Phone Hub users were able to respond to text messages, check their phone’s battery life, enable tethering, and more. Now, with the latest update, users will be able to access their most recent photos, even if they are offline. The photos will automatically populate the Phone Hub, appearing under the Recent Photos section.
If invested in Google’s ecosystem, Nearby Share has been a godsend, allowing Chromebook and Android phones to share files between each other seamlessly. With its latest update, Nearby Share will now allow users to safely share Wi-Fi credentials from their Android smartphone to a Chromebook.
By heading to the Wi-Fi network section in Android and tapping “Share”, users will be able to select “Nearby” and send it off to a nearby Chromebook. At this point, the Chromebook will be able to get online without typing any Wi-Fi passwords. Of course, it goes without saying but this will permanently save the Wi-Fi password to the device, allowing it to seamlessly connect going forward.
Bluetooth headphone and accessory users rejoice! Fast Pair is coming to Chromebooks later this summer. By turning on the Chromebook’s Bluetooth connection, it will automatically be able to seek compatible Bluetooth devices that are in pairing mode. Once detected, it will take just one step to get it set up and connected. Best of all, the connection will be saved to your Google account, making the previously connected accessories seamlessly connect going forward no matter the product. While these improvements should enhance the experience, Google states that there is more to come so stay tuned.