Google is working on ‘push’ features like Handoff for Android and Chrome OS, starting with Pixel
For the past few years, Google has been working on a “Better Together” initiative to make the ownership experience of Android phones and Chromebooks more intact. The integration today includes a major phone hub, instant tethering and smart (un) lock. As we reported in February, the latest feature in this family has been codenamed “Eche” and now you know a lot about Android. Google Pixel phones are the first devices that can “push” and mirror apps on Chromebooks.
About APK Insights: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve unveiled the latest version of the app that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompose these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we can see different lines of code according to those hints on possible features in the future. Note that Google may never send or provide these features, and our explanation of what they are may be incomplete. We will try to enable those that are close to completion, however, to show what they will look like if they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Since February (at least) Android 12 Developer Preview 1, Google has been working on “Push”. It’s a button you’ll eventually see on the Android 12 Recent screen (and we’ve enabled it today) and is made possible by the new com.google.pixel.exo जे which features first-party specifications अॅ app / background services.
We believe the list will find the Chromebook, the Eche mentioned above has handled the Chromebook side. Exo is a display server used by Chrome OS for both ARC (Android apps) and Krostini (Linux).
From Google Play services, where “exo” is explicitly referred to, we know that you will be able to “use your phone’s apps directly on% 1 $ s [named Chromebook] while you’re at home.” This is the first time we are hearing this local requirement that both devices must be on the same network for a live stream connection.
As a reminder, my colleague Kelly Bradshaw added in February that Eche – which means “throw” or “cast” in Spanish – will allow you to mirror your phone’s screen to Chrome OS, allowing you to view and use your phone’s apps directly. Your Chromebook. ”
Taken together, Exo and Iche will let you use the apps on your Pixel phone – along with a number of Better Together features that get started on the Google Exclusive – Chromebook. The workflow seems to include opening the recent multitasking menu on Android 12 and then tapping Push. You will then receive a notification on your Chromebook to accept and you will see the app in a new window.
Additionally, another way to trigger a stream would be to expand your existing ability to receive phone notifications from your Chromebook. Eche / Exo will allow you to click on the mirrored notification and that app will open directly on the notebook. You can answer without ever taking your pixel out.
Behind the scenes, the Android app is streaming so that you’re basically handling an interactive video feed for the Steam / Remote Command model.
This is a summary of this upcoming feature, and it leaves many open questions. It’s as vague as the handoff in the Apple ecosystem where you can work on a document on your iPhone and then be asked to open it on iMac. On iOS, iPad OS and MacOS, native applications need to be installed on participating devices.
Google seems to be using live device-to-device video streaming as an alternative, but it’s weird as Android apps are available on most modern Chrome OS devices. In theory, it would be more efficient for Google to simply send the Pixel phone to the app’s current state and use Chromebooks to replicate push data. If a fictitious Google Doc is working on your Pixel device, it would make more sense to open docs.google.com on the web.
That being said, many developers will likely have to re-work their applications. To the credit of Exo / Eche, streaming over the local Wi-Fi network may be faster than installing the corresponding app on the Chrome OS Play Store before and does not require additional app development.
It is unclear when the upcoming Google Pixel “Push” capability for Chromebook will launch.