Chromebooks could soon have the ability to stream apps directly from an Android phone, which could make the typical entry-level laptops even more versatile.
The message comes from XDA developerwho performed a full teardown of the latest Google Play Services beta (v21.21.12) and found data suggesting the feature is in development. While the functionality is not live yet and technically not confirmed either, the inclusion of its footprint in the beta certainly indicates that it is in the pipeline.
The beta doesn’t provide any information on how the feature would work, although it would probably be most useful for streaming gaming apps. Chromebooks rarely come with a dedicated graphics card, so this could be a great way to explore the gaming potential of some of the best Chromebooks. It can also allow users to read and act on notifications they receive on their phone, which could be useful when using a Chromebook for work, for example.
It’s also a mystery what devices it would be available on – though Google could make it exclusive for the time to come Pixel 6. Instant tethering, which allows users to share a phone’s mobile connection with a Chromebook, was originally limited to pixels only, but has gradually made it available on non-pixel devices as well.
This new streaming feature was first hinted at in February when a reference to it was discovered in the code of Google’s open source Chromium browser. That revealed that Google was planning to extend the Phone Hub feature to Chrome OS by allowing users to mirror a smartphone screen on a Chromebook.
If the ability to stream from a smartphone is exclusive to the Pixel 6, at least initially, then we should expect more about it in early fall, as Google usually launches its newest flagship smartphone in September. We’ve heard quite a bit about the device before, with recent leaks suggesting it It will have a killer camera upgrade and a strong graphics boost – plus a huge redesign.