Google may soon introduce a seamless cross-device experience
If you are in the Apple ecosystem, you’re probably familiar with Handoff, a feature that lets you seamlessly switch tasks between devices. For example, you started reading an article on your Mac, but after a few minutes you decide to read it on your iPad. After simply unlocking the tablet, you’ll be greeted by a small icon, allowing you to open the web page and continue where you left off. . Nearby Sharing works quickly and efficiently, as does AirDrop. And a Link to Windows app lets you sync information, notifications and files from the phone to your laptop – much like iPhones and MacBooks bounce off each other.
But there is still work to be done to improve this “ecosystem” experience, and Google seems to focus a lot of effort on this!
At this year’s Google Annual Developer Conference, also known as Google I/O, the tech giant, has introduced a few new ways that could give us just that: a quick and easy transition between devices that talk to each other and share a common task.
Android 13 will let you copy and paste across your Android devices
A new feature in Android 13 will allow users to copy and paste across all their connected devices, similar to Apple’s Universal Clipboard. This means you’ll be able to copy a text from your phone, tap a quick near share pop-up, and then paste it on your other device as you normally would.
This could be a really cool feature, because right now you need to find a way to send what’s on your clipboard via a message to your other device, copy it again, and then paste it. While this new solution is still a step up from Apple’s continuity, it’s still much better for the overall Android UX where multiple devices are involved.
A new set of APIs for a seamless cross-device experience
The ad further broad outlines a new set of APIs that will help developers build apps that do more than just copy and paste text from one device to another.
For example, while driving, you can share a location on the map directly with your friend’s car. Also, if you want to rent or buy a movie on your TV, you can use your phone to enter your payment method. Or, if multiple people are ordering takeout, you can have all of your guests simply open the specific delivery app on their phone and send their orders to your shopping cart.
Google said it intends to support cross-platform development for Chrome OS, iOS, Windows, and other platforms as well, so these features won’t be limited to Android only.
To create these APIs, Google took the methods used by Nearby Sharing to discover and authorize devices and gave them “additional capabilities” to allow developers to use them and build apps that “easily join devices in a shared experience while preserving user privacy”.
These APIs will first be available through Google Play Services, and we can expect a first preview to be released in Q2 2022.
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