Among many announcements at Google I/O, the tech giant revealed that it has enabled app streaming via Phone Hub in ChromeOS Beta. This feature allows you to use various apps from your Android phone directly in a dedicated window on your Chromebook. Once Phone Hub is enabled, you can, for example, check your phone notifications, find open tabs, and stream apps from your Chrome mobile browser on your Chromebook.
On the support page for the feature, Google notes that app streaming is compatible with the “Pixel 4A and above with Android version 13 or above”. As for non-Pixel phones, app streaming is only compatible with the Xiaomi 12T, 12T Pro, 13 and 13 Pro that also run Android 13 or higher.
You can stream apps by clicking a notification from a messaging app or browsing the “Recent Apps” section of the Hub after opening an app on your mobile device. You can also start an app stream from All apps, which you can access from the list of recent apps in Phone Hub.
“You can now perform quick tasks such as responding to a call, checking the status of a rideshare or delivery, and editing your shopping list by streaming the apps from your Android phone to your Chromebook,” Google wrote in a blog post. “To use App Streaming, make sure Phone Hub is enabled on your Chromebook.”
You can use your Chromebook’s trackpad to zoom in and out of an app in the same way you would on the phone’s touchscreen. If your Chromebook has touch support, you can use the touch screen to interact with the streaming app.
Google also notes that both your phone and Chromebook must share the same Wi-Fi network and the two devices must be close to each other. You can also “Use Direct Tethering to put both devices on the same local network if your current network environment doesn’t support app streaming”. Streaming apps may end if you become inactive, your mobile device is too far from your Chromebook, or you experience connection errors.
The functionality is welcome, as it can help you avoid having to switch between devices when performing certain tasks. Chromebook Android app streaming is available on the ChromeOS beta channel.