Android 12 could be adding a new way to link Google’s Pixel smartphones and Chromebooks together when it arrives. New references to an unreleased “Push” feature suggest that users will soon be able to mirror their phone screens on their Chromebooks.
The new details were discovered by 9To5Google by looking through the APK files of Google apps and the Android 12 Developer Preview. Push seems to be an expansion of the Chromebook’s current ability to receive phone notifications by letting you click on the popup to then open the phone app on your notebook.
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However, while the update will likely arrive with Android 12 it won’t be available to all devices at launch. Code related to Push specifically namechecks the Google Pixel, suggesting that the feature will be exclusive to Google’s own brand of phones at first.
There’s always a chance that this feature won’t launch when Android 12 does, either because it’s been scrapped or just needs a few more updates to work properly. We’ll hopefully know more about it soon as Android 12 is expected to launch at some point in the next few weeks.
Analysis: Last but not least?
Google’s Push feature sounds incredibly similar to those already employed by Apple and even Microsoft, but the Android-focused approach might end up being better than both, even if it has come last in the race to release.
Windows’s Your Phone app offers some nifty integration such as letting you check phone notifications and text your contacts, while Handoff from Apple lets you instantly and seamlessly continue working on your documents from your iPhone on your Mac. However, with screen mirroring, Google’s Push feature would have some serious utility boosts.
Unlike Apple, you’d be able to use your whole range of phone apps on your computer. Windows already offers phone mirroring but just for Samsung devices. We imagine that Google’s Push feature will eventually arrive on every device supporting Android 12 - not just Pixel - giving even more users access to the helpful feature but we'll have to wait and see.
We don’t yet know if Push will be enough to convince consumers to immerse themselves in Google’s ecosystem of products, but it will certainly give those that do some new features to enjoy.
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Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.