Google has been putting in lots of work on the new Chromebook Phone Hub as of late. Photos you’ve snapped on your phone are beginning to appear there for users instantaneously, it will soon drain your phone battery less quickly by making less frequent pings, and more. Despite the fact that three very important things ought to have been fixed prior to its release, I’m still happy to see Phone Hub available to users.
To further its usefulness, Google is now working to show your recently used phone apps in the Hub for quick access. First discovered by Chrome Story, a new Chrome development flag directly indicates that relaunching ‘streamed’ apps will be a thing in the near future.
Add feature flag: PhoneHubRecentApps
This flag to Enables the Recent Apps feature in Phone Hub, which allows users to relaunch the streamed app.Chromium Gerrit
As of right now on Chrome OS Canary, Phone Hub does not show your phone’s recently used apps, but it’s only a matter of time until the feature works with the flag enabled. Near the bottom of the Hub, there are four ‘Continue browsing’ tiles where your recently closed Chrome mobile web tabs would appear. Dinsan of Chrome Story believes that the apps will appear on these tiles in place of sites, and I’m inclined to agree. Check out his image below to get an idea of what I mean.
If you open an application on your phone, it ought to show up right there in the Hub for easy re-access. I’m assuming that this is what the commit means by ‘Streamed’ apps. It’s an interesting term to use for Phone Hub, and we’ve continued to see this word used in reference to it. I’m beginning to wonder if Google has bigger plans for delivering app experiences and information to users than it currently has implemented here, but perhaps it’s just a generic word for transferring this experience to the laptop over the cloud via a standard synchronization.
If app streaming is in the works at any level, it could solve the “double notifications” issue we currently experience with Phone Hub (having to dismiss your notifications on your phone and Chromebook instead of doing so in one place and seeing it disappear from the other automatically). Let me know in the comments what you think of all of this as I’m interested in speculating on this with you all!