While we’ve spent way too much time dreaming of the day when we might see a tablet or large phone powered by Chrome OS, it turns out the idea of taking phone calls on your Chromebook might not be that far away. Granted, this won’t be courtesy of a Chrome OS phone anytime soon, but could instead be on the way via the magic that is Chrome OS’ Phone Hub feature.
As you can see from the new commit above, the Chrome OS team is hard at work on a new feature that should bring further integration to the Phone Hub section of your Chromebook. From this language, the flag looks like it might only be for a simple notification that your phone is receiving a call, but a little more digging into the actual flag description tells us that this may not be just for notifications.
As you can see from the actual flag description, this is actually enabling the incoming/outgoing call feature, not just the notification. While I still thought this might be referring to a simple toast notification, Gabriel pointed out that you don’t really need a notification for outgoing calls, do you? Calls coming in? Sure. But outbound communications don’t need notifications, so this could be something far more interesting.
I’d imagine this all ties into the upcoming Eche feature that will basically mirror your phone on your Chromebook desktop when you are interacting with parts of the Phone Hub that require it. In this case, I can imagine Eche showing your phone’s, erm, phone app at the bottom of the screen with the option to dial a new number, select a contact, or answer an incoming call. Will this also route the call through your Chromebooks audio? If all the interaction is happening on your Chromebook screen, I’d hope this is the intent.
Between this feature and the upcoming camera roll additions to Phone Hub, this Chromebook tool is getting ready to head into serious overdrive. For what it’s worth, even in the Canary Channel we’ve had no luck getting Eche to fully run and actually display anything. It is definitely not for lack of trying, and we’ll continue to attempt it until we get a few working, mirrored apps in the Phone Hub. You can rest assured that when we do, we’ll let you know!