Google’s new project that will create a “phone hub” on Chrome OS has only been in development for a couple of months but work is coming right along at a very steady pace. The latest update to the Canary channel has inserted another placeholder into the Phone Hub menu that gives us a slightly better look at how the new feature will be presented. As recently discovered by Chrome Story, the Phone Hub will feature a “find my device” option that should allow users to ring their mobile device from their Chrome OS device. With today’s update, we can now see the addition of “continue browsing” cards at the bottom of the Phone Hub menu.
I think it’s safe to assume that this will work in a similar manner to the way that the Chrome OS launcher shows the last active Chrome tab from your connected phone. Instead of a single page, this could possibly present multiple open tabs or perhaps the four most recent tabs you viewed on your phone. In the phone hub settings, that are still technically hidden in Chrome OS, there is an item labeled “Phone Hub task continuation.” I would presume that this addition is part of that feature. However, I have a gut feeling that there may be more to the “task continuation” that we have yet to see. The continued browsing option is a relatively redundant feature. However, if you could pick up in an Android app on your Chromebook where you left off on your mobile, that would be a much more exciting addition. We’ll just have to wait and see how this one fleshes itself out.
The Phone Hub flag is currently present in the Canary channel of Chrome OS and enabling it does add the new phone hub icon to the system tray. However, no functionality is present at this time while developers work on all of the finishing bits and pieces. In addition to the “Locate phone” option, users will be able to silence their mobile devices, enable their hotspot, and quickly view the battery level of their phone. I would guess that Google has more surprises planned for the Phone Hub feature evolves and we’ll be digging into the repository to see if we can unearth any undiscovered details. This feature will be nested under the “connected devices” section of the Chrome OS settings menu which makes sense. Google has long sought to bring parity across its software and hardware platforms by syncing everything to a unifying Google account and this is just another leg of that road trip. Stay tuned for more as I bet Google will have some information to tease about the Phone Hub in the coming months.