[Update 2: Reworked] Google could let you restore your Chromebook using your Android phone
One of the best things about using a Chromebook is that a vast majority of your files are backed up online. This means that in case of a hardware failure, you can rest assured that all your files can easily be downloaded again. However, if Chrome OS stops working for some reason, then you’ve got a completely different problem on your hands. As of now, the only way to restore Chrome OS is by creating a recovery media on a separate device and then installing it on your Chromebook. But now, Google seems to be working on a way to let you restore your Chromebook using your Android phone.
According to a recent commit on the Chromium Gerrit, Chromebook owners will be able to use the Ctrl+P shortcut while in recovery mode to initiate recovery via an Android device. The code change request reveals that the new shortcut has been added due to the fact that the Android recovery device enumeration is potentially dangerous for other USB devices. Which is why it should only begin following explicit user intent.
Once the feature goes live, Chromebook users will no longer have to use recovery media to restore their device. Currently, there’s no information on what the Android portion of this feature would look like. However, it’s speculated that Google might release a new Chrome OS recovery app on the Play Store which will allow users to download the correct recovery files for their device. The feature seems to be in its early stages of development and for now, there’s no information from Google regarding its official rollout. We expect to learn more when the feature finally goes live in a future Canary update.
Google’s developers have been working tirelessly to push a slew of new features to Chrome OS. Most recently, the Canary version of the platform received support for Wi-Fi network syncing and gave us a glimpse of media controls working on the lock screen.
Update 1: Abandoned
Well, just a couple of weeks after it was first discovered, it appears Google has abandoned a code change that would’ve let you restore your Chromebook using your Android phone. In the changelog on the Chromium Gerrit page, the owner simply says “Abandoned. Abandoning this change…” It’s possible the feature is being shelved for the time being and could come back. We’ll update this post if it does.
Thanks to XDA Member Some_Random_Username for the tip!
Source: Chromium Gerrit
Update 2: Still a Work-in-Progress
Multiple separate commits have been merged to add this feature to Chrome OS. Furthermore, a bug tracker reveals how this feature works. Google is using a feature in Android called “Accessory Mode” to communicate with the Chromebook while it’s in recovery mode. The goal is to allow both end-users and factories to use this tool.
Thanks to @Shad0wKn1ght93 for the tip!