At I/O 2021, Google gave us a glimpse of all the new features and software upgrades coming with Android 12. Among the key changes is a dramatic visual facelift and updated privacy tools, but one area where Android devices are about to get a lot smarter is cross-device collaboration with your smartphone at the front and center of it all.
Google says the Phone Hub on Chromebooks will soon let you access photos clicked from your connected Android phone. This feature saves you the trouble of transferring files between your phone and Chrome OS machine via Bluetooth, email or any other medium. This is not a novel concept though, as HUAWEI has offered a much deeper collaboration between its phones and laptops for a while now.
Moreover, Android phones will soon act as a digital key to lock, unlock or even start your car courtesy of NFC and Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. You will also be able to securely share your digital car key with friends and family members. Google says it is working with multiple automobile brands including BMW to bake this functionality on Pixels and a handful of Samsung phones running Android 12.
Fast Pair – the Bluetooth tech that saves you the hassle of scanning, pairing, and unpairing by automatically connecting with nearby saved devices – is also expanding its scope. Google says that Fast Pair will soon work with a wider range of wearable devices and accessories, as well as vehicles from BMW and Ford among other brands.
Another extremely helpful feature making its way to Android phones is an in-built remote control functionality for smart TVs. This feature will allow you to use your phone as a remote that is compatible with over 80 million devices running Android TV or Google TV experience. The biggest advantage? You no longer have to struggle while typing a query using the remotes that come bundled with your TV or streaming device. The keyboard on your phone will let you do that in a jiffy.
Take a look at all the cross-device tricks coming soon to your Android device in the video below: