Chrome OS developers are steadily working on a slew of new features that will be heading to Chromebooks over the next few months. One of the flashier new additions that we’ve been tracking is the “Phone Hub” feature that will further deepen the integrating between your Chromebook and your mobile device. Just recently, the Phone Hub flag came to life and actually added the placeholder icon to the Chrome OS shelf when enabled in the Canary channel. The inactive menus for the Phone Hub include the ability to find your phone, toggle a hotspot and set your mobile to “do not disturb” for distraction-free productivity time.
The most interesting and intriguing part of the new Phone Hub is the task continuation. Upon initial inspection, it looks as though this would be nothing more than the continued reading feature that already exists in the Chrome OS launcher. Further digging shows that this will actually allow users to pick where they left off in various Android applications not just the Chrome browser. This could be a very useful feature if you were using something like, I don’t know, Adobe Premiere Rush. Perhaps you snapped an awesome video on the way to work and you started editing it in Rush while you were grabbing your morning coffee. Maybe you could open the Phone Hub menu and pick right up in Rush on your Chromebook and never miss a beat. Maybe. Who knows?
The Phone Hub icon has disappeared in the Canary channel but recent commits point to developers removing the inactive placeholders and actually activating the service. I would guess that we’ll be able to see the Phone Hub in action in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we’ve unearthed some new images that layout the user flow for the Phone Hub onboarding setup. As you can see in the images below, Google is adding some material design images to walk users through the setup process. These include the initial setup UI which could be part of the OOBE process or perhaps triggered when the Phone Hub is enabled.
The additional images feature the connection process as well a “no connection” warning but we may see more images added to the process as Phone Hub evolves. However Google plans on presenting this, Phone Hub should turn into a productivity tool that could take Chrome OS to a new level. The ability to sit down at my desk and keep my phone in my pocket while staying connected to what’s important gets me crazy excited. The lines between devices continue to blur and we love it.
Source: Chromium Repository