Google is announcing several applications at CES aimed at integrating Android with ChromeOS, Windows and other platforms. The company is collaborating with Acer, HP and Intel, among others, to make the Android Fast Pair feature available to Windows.
Google reports in a blog post that the Fast Pair will be available “later this year” for “select Windows PCs”. It allows users to pair their phone with their Windows device and then quickly pair Bluetooth accessories and sync text messages between Android and Windows. Nearby Share is also coming to Windows that way, allowing users to exchange files between linked Android and Windows devices, similar to AirDrop between iOS and macOS. That feature is already available for Chromebooks.
Fast Pair will also be available for ChromeOS in the coming weeks. Chromebooks can automatically detect earbuds or headphones with Fast Pair support and allow users to pair them with their Chromebook with a single click. In ‘the coming months’ Fast Pair will also come to Google TV and Android TV, so that they can also quickly connect such Bluetooth accessories to their media box. Fast Pair will also be able to quickly connect smart home devices to their network via the Matter standard later this year.
The company is also working on ‘a technology for Bluetooth headphones’, which makes it possible to switch automatically between connected devices. Google writes that users can use headphones to watch a movie on a tablet and that the movie is then automatically paused when users receive a phone call. The headphones are paired with the smartphone for the phone call and are switched back to the tablet after the call.
Phone Hub for ChromeOS will also be expanded later this year. This allows users to receive Signal and WhatsApp messages on their Chromebook itself, without the need for separate apps. Users can respond to those messages through the Chromebook. Phone Hub will also get a camera roll feature that will allow users to view recent photos.
In the coming months, it will also be possible to automatically unlock Chromebooks and Android phones and tablets when a connected Wear OS smartwatch is nearby. There will also be more devices with a built-in Chromecast in the future; Google cites Bose soundbars as an example. Exact release dates are not yet known.
With the new features, Google focuses on making different devices work better, such as the company also writes on Twitter† The company has been working on deeper integration between Android and ChromeOS for some time and is now also talking about Windows and other platforms.