Google may be developing Apple-like Continuity features for Chrome OS and Android. In recent experimental updates, 9to5Google has found instances of a new tool that will possibly allow users to resume and continue their Android phone activities on a Chromebook.
Internally called the Android Phone Hub, it will offer a “UI for users to view information about their Android phone and perform phone-side actions within Chrome OS.” Based on further pre-release evidence, Android Phone Hub will be capable of mirroring notifications from Android phones and potentially let users respond to them too right from a Chromebook.
Since it appears to feature a full-fledged user instance, Android Phone Hub could function similarly to Microsoft’s Your Phone app through which users can access their Android phones from a central hub on their Windows PC and perform actions such as making calls and controlling the music playback.
What’s more interesting, however, is the “Phone Hub Task Continuation” attribute. This suggests with Android Phone Hub, Android owners may be able to resume what they were doing on their phones on Chromebooks.
Apple has been offering deep integration between Macs and iPhones for ages called Handoff that enables users to pick up where they left off on apps like Pages, Safari, Mail, and more. For instance, you can begin writing a mail on your phone and a notification will appear on your Mac to resume it on the desktop Mail app — instead of you going through piles of menus to launch the draft.
It’s unlikely, however, Android Phone Hub will be so advanced at least in its early stages. Chrome OS already comes with a handful of abilities for connecting to an Android phone. At the moment, you can respond to text messages, access your phone’s mobile data, unlock with your phone’s fingerprint sensor, and more on your Chromebook.
Google is also in the middle of developing an AirDrop-esque alternative for Android and Chrome OS. The Android Phone Hub could, therefore, be a part of a larger update and initiative. It’s unclear when all of this will be released publicly. While users can now try out Google’s AirDrop counterpart, Nearby Sharing, the Android Phone Hub is not yet available even in the experimental Chrome OS builds.
We’ve reached out to Google for confirmation and we’ll update the story when we hear back.