In the past year, Chromebooks have gained tons of user-facing features that help users get things done. One of the more notable and more interesting of these features has been Nearby Share – Google’s own version of what Apple calls AirDrop – that lets users drop files to and from their devices or to other users in the nearby area as well. It’s a handy setup that works well, but sometimes a simpler, more-direct approach is quicker and more effective when your use case is a bit more narrow.
HP’s Quick Drop solution is just that: an app that allows you to pair your phone to your Chromebook with a PWA to allow for massive file moves between the devices. The setup takes little more than an app install and a QR code scan and the execution is incredibly good.
Overall, Quick Drop is quite simple. Once your phone and Chromebook are paired up, you can select files on either your Chromebook or your phone, drop them into the transfer feed, and quickly utilize them on the other device. Moving 5MB-10MB images is nearly instant and even a 1GB ZIP file I attempted not only succeeded the first time – it actually only took a couple minutes to transfer. Additionally, you can copy/paste plain text for sharing as well if you need to drop a reminder or a bit of text from one device to the next.
HP is touting this service alongside the upcoming Cursive app from Google that will launch with the recently-announced HP Chromebook X2 11, and while we can’t find a way to get Cursive up and running just yet (it’s a PWA out there on the web somewhere!), this Quick Drop for Chrome PWA works just fine. You can search and install from the Play Store or simply navigate to the URL (https://cb.hp.screenovate.com/) and get started from there. Install the app on your phone (or phones) of choice, scan the QR code and get moving files with ease.
One interesting quirk is present, but it’s not a thing that will have any real effect on the use of the app. I suppose since HP is intending to market this towards HP Chromebook users, the PWA and Android app simply report the paired Chromebook as ‘HP Chromebook’ regardless of what device you are actually using. This could be easily fixed in a quick server-side update, but for now it seems the PWA isn’t polling the device it is being used on for the actual Chromebook name.
PWAs were made for this
While I think this will be a service I’ll use for quite some time and I’m excited to have it at my disposal, I’m equally thrilled that the Chrome OS experience has been built as a PWA and is delivered through the Play Store with aplomb. New services like this can be a bit spotty out of the gate, and this has been nothing but simple, effective, and well executed. Seeing a PWA built and purposed for Chromebook use makes my heart smile. This app platform is so capable and so flexible that I can’t wait to see more developers make more stuff that isn’t bound by app stores and is free to use for anyone out on the open web.