Chromebooks get new features for closer integration with Android devices

Google is driving improvements in quality of life by tightening integration between Chromebook and Android. New Phone Hub features, Near Share improvements, and Bluetooth connectivity optimizations are a new set of features rolling out to Chromebook and Android users.

Phone Hub is getting improvements to give Chromebook users a distraction-free experience. Until now, Phone Hub users could respond to text messages, check their phone’s battery life, enable tethering, and more. With the latest update, users can now access their most recent photos even when offline. The photos will automatically populate the Phone Hub and appear under the Recent Photos section.

Screenshot of recent photos in Phone Hub on a Chromebook.

If invested in Google’s ecosystem, Near Share has been a godsend, allowing Chromebook and Android phones to seamlessly share files with each other. With the latest update, Near Share allows users to securely share Wi-Fi credentials from their Android smartphone to a Chromebook.

Screenshot of Near Share WiFi password sharing with a Chromebook.

By going to the Wi-Fi network section in Android and tapping “Share”, users can select “Nearby” and send to a nearby Chromebook. At this point, the Chromebook can go online without typing Wi-Fi passwords. It goes without saying, of course, but this will permanently store the Wi-Fi password on the device so that it can connect seamlessly in the future.

Image of Chromebook connecting to Pixel Buds via Fast Pair.

Users of Bluetooth headphones and accessories rejoice! Fast Pair is coming to Chromebooks later this summer. Enabling the Chromebook’s Bluetooth connection allows it to automatically search for compatible Bluetooth devices that are in pairing mode. Once detected, it only takes one step to set it up and connect. Best of all, the connection is saved to your Google account, making the accessories previously connected seamlessly connect regardless of the product. While these improvements should improve the experience, Google says there’s more to come, so stay tuned.

Source: google

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