Google’s ChromeOS 103 is out in the wild, bringing some important improvements to tighten the integration with Android phones.
The new update gives Google a better shot at rivalling the interoperability Apple has been trying to perfect for years now, between iPhone handsets and Mac computers.
For example, in ChromeOS 103, the previously announced update to the Phone Hub app for Chromebooks will show all of the recent photos you’ve taken on your phone. This actually happens in the background, even when the laptop is offline. You will need to download the photo though in order to use it.
“No more sending yourself emails with pictures or going through multiple steps to get an image from your phone to your laptop,” Google says, in an evident self own that this didn’t previously exist.
“The next time you’re recapping yesterday’s hike in an email to your friends, you can easily add your best photos to the message, without ever having to pick up your phone.”
Another update brings support for Wi-Fi password sharing from Android to Chromebooks via Nearby Share from within the Wi-Fi settings on the Android phones. This is a useful feature Apple has offered for quite some time and never fails to be a crowd pleaser.
Google adds: “To try it out, go to the internet settings page on your Android phone, select “Wi-Fi network” and “Share.” Then tap the “Nearby” tile under the QR code, and select the Chromebook you want to get online.”
ChromeOS 103 also brings a Screencast app, which is designed for teachers to create video lessons and guides for outside the classroom. It’ll enable users to record, trim, and transcribe clips.
The updates will keep coming throughout the summer with Google also bringing its Fast Pair option to Chromebooks, making it easier to connected to supported headphones, such as the company’s own Pixel Buds.