You won’t have to install Android apps on your Chromebook when you need them in a pinch. After a preview at CES last year, Google has enabled app streaming through Phone Hub in Chrome OS Beta. You can quickly check your messages, or track the status of a food order without having to sign in again.
Once Phone Hub is enabled, you can stream apps by either clicking a messaging app notification or browsing the Hub’s Recent Apps section after you’ve opened a given app on your phone. Google doesn’t describe certain app types as off-limits, although it’s safe to say that you won’t want to play action games this way.
The feature works with “select” phones running Android 13 or newer. The Chromebook and handset need to be on the same WiFi network and physically close-by, although you can use the phone as a hotspot through Instant Tethering if necessary.
Google is ultimately mirroring the remote Android app access you’ve had in Windows for years. However, the functionality might be more useful on Chromebooks. While app streaming won’t replace native apps, it can save precious storage space and spare you from having to jump between devices just to complete certain tasks. This approach is also more manufacturer-independent where Microsoft’s approach is restricted to Samsung and Honor phones.
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