Among the slew of announcements at Google I/O, the tech giant revealed that it has enabled app streaming through Phone Hub in ChromeOS Beta. The feature allows you to use different apps from your Android phone right in a dedicated window on your Chromebook. Once Phone Hub is enabled, you can do things like check your phone notifications, find open tabs, and stream apps from your mobile Chrome browser on your Chromebook.
In its support page for the feature, Google notes that app streaming is compatible with the “Pixel 4A and higher that runs Android version 13 or later.” As for non-Pixel phones, app streaming is only compatible the Xiaomi 12T, 12T Pro, 13, and 13 Pro also running Android 13 or later.
You can stream apps by clicking a messaging app notification or browsing the Hub’s “Recent Apps” section after you’ve opened an app on your mobile device. You can also launch an app stream through “All Apps,” which you can access through the Recent Apps list in Phone Hub.
“You can now complete quick tasks like replying to a conversation, checking on the status of a rideshare or delivery, and editing your shopping list by streaming your Android phone’s apps on your Chromebook,” Google wrote in a blog post. “To use App Streaming, make sure that Phone Hub is enabled on your Chromebook.”
You can use your Chromebook’s trackpad to zoom in and out on 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 streamed app.
Google also notes that both your phone and Chromebook have to share the same Wi-Fi network and the two devices must be close to each other. You can also “use Instant Tethering to put both devices on the same local area network if your current network environment doesn’t support app streaming.” App streaming might be terminated if you become inactive, your mobile device is too far away from your Chromebook or if there are connection errors.
The functionality is a welcome one, as it can help you avoid having to switch between devices when completing certain tasks. Chromebook Android app streaming is available on the ChromeOS beta channel.