Skip to main content

Google links Android phones to Chromebooks with new Phone Hub feature

Google links Android phones to Chromebooks with new Phone Hub feature

/

Chrome OS is getting a bunch of new features to celebrate 10 years

Share this story

New Phone Hub feature in Chrome OS.
New Phone Hub feature in Chrome OS.
Image: Google

Google is marking 10 years of Chromebooks by unveiling new features for Chrome OS today. The biggest addition is a new Phone Hub feature that connects an Android phone to a Chromebook. It allows Chrome OS users to respond to texts, check a phone’s battery life, enable its Wi-Fi hotspot, and locate a device easily.

Phone Hub is packed into a taskbar widget that even expands to show you recent Chrome tabs that you have been browsing on your phone. It looks like it will be a super useful feature for Android and Chromebook owners. Google is also enabling its Wi-Fi Sync feature on more devices, allowing you to connect to Wi-Fi networks you’ve already configured and used on your Android phone and other Chrome OS devices.

Chrome OS gets an AirDrop competitor.
Chrome OS gets an AirDrop competitor.
Image: Google

Another significant addition to Chrome OS is Nearby Share between Chromebooks and other Android and Chrome OS devices. Much like AirDrop, Nearby Share will let people send and receive files between devices. Google says this will arrive in Chrome OS in the coming months, finally providing its laptop OS with a full AirDrop competitor.

Elsewhere, Google is also adding in a new Screen Capture tool into the Quick Settings menu in Chrome OS. Like the name implies, this will let you record your screen or take screenshots and access them quickly in a “Tote” space from the Chrome OS Shelf.

New Screen Capture in Chrome OS.
New Screen Capture in Chrome OS.
Image: Google
Virtual desktops improvements in Chrome OS.
Virtual desktops improvements in Chrome OS.
Image: Google

The Clipboard is also being improved in Chrome OS, allowing you to save five recent items to paste elsewhere without switching windows. The Launcher Key will provide access to this updated clipboard experience. Quick Answers is another new addition, which lets you right-click a word in Chrome OS to get a definition, translation, or unit conversion. It’s very similar to what exists in macOS today.

Google is even improving the virtual desktops feature of Chrome OS — Desks. When you reboot a Chromebook, it will now restore all windows to their correct virtual desktops, and you can also right-click at the top of an open window to send apps to a different virtual desktops.

Chrome OS’s clipboard feature is getting a history feature.
Chrome OS’s clipboard feature is getting a history feature.
Image: Google

Most of these new Chrome OS additions are clearly playing catch-up to what already exists on Windows and macOS, but they’re welcome additions for those relying on Chrome OS every day. Google first launched a range of Chromebooks back in 2011 in a partnership with Samsung and Acer. There are now Chromebooks from every major PC maker, and Google is promising that 50 new Chromebooks will launch during 2021.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothTwo hours ago
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma Roth8:01 PM UTC
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma Roth5:52 PM UTC
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.