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It’s been a few months aback we covered Google’s appetite to accompany tighter affiliation to two of its amount accouterments products. Dubbed Buzz Hub, the affection aims to enhance the accord amid your Android smartphone and Chromebook. Shortly afterwards a beheld ancestor fabricated its way to the Canary and Dev channels via a Chrome flag, it mysteriously vanished from the arrangement tray and—until recently—has not fabricated a return. While we still don’t accept a anatomic adaptation of it today, Buzz Hub accustomed abounding beheld and backend updates that accord us a glimpse of what Google is affable up to accompany your buzz and Chromebook afterpiece together.
As apparent afresh in the Chrome OS Canary channel, Google’s Buzz Hub accustomed a auspicious UI adapt that looks radically altered than it did aback 9to5Google’s Kyle Bradshaw demoed it in September. The redesign comes with a cleaner Buzz Hub UI, a proof-of-concept notification system, and a cast new onboarding acquaintance to set up your buzz with Chrome OS. Here’s a hands-on attending at what changed.
First impressions are everything. No amount how appealing Buzz Hub looks, it won’t amount unless the onboarding acquaintance captures your absorption and shows off its value. To advice get the brawl rolling, Buzz Hub’s bureaucracy UI offers an agreeable acquaintance by introducing its allowances and how you can accomplish the best of it.
Phone Hub’s onboarding UI introduces its allowances with alive illustrations.
Google is no drifter to accumulation a simplistic interface to its products, and Buzz Hub is no exception. The onboarding UI shows up on the appropriate bend of the shelf and acts as a ambit to adviser you through bond your buzz to Chrome OS. It is asleep simple to use, and the appealing illustrations advice you break affianced throughout the process. It’s account advertence that, admitting the pictures, the ancestor currently cannot affix to your phone.
After the onboarding bureaucracy is complete, Buzz Hub will affectation a basal interface about your phone’s cachet forth with a few means to ascendancy it and your notifications.
The revamped Buzz Hub UI.
The Buzz Hub tray looks decidedly altered aback it aftermost appeared in September. It’ll appearance advice about your buzz at the top, including its name, array life, and arresting strength. On the bottom, there are three toggles that are acclimated to locate your phone, accredit your hotspot, or put your buzz into Do Not Disturb mode. None of the toggles are anatomic at the moment, but it shows us a few things you’ll be able to do with Buzz Hub aback it’s up and running.
Phone Hub will additionally action an advantage to mirror your phone’s notifications on your Chromebook. Afterwards beat the “Set up” button in the shelf widget, a new bureaucracy breeze will pop into view.
Setup to accept buzz notifications on your Chromebook.
Like the antecedent setup, the breeze uses a glossy set of Google-y illustrations. Beat on the “Get started” button prompts your Chromebook to alpha abutting to your phone, but like best of the prototype’s features, it doesn’t do annihilation yet. However, Google hid a anatomic proof-of-concept notification system, apparently to advice the developers alter letters beatific to Buzz Hub. Here’s a quick look:
A notification test.
An apparent archetype bulletin ancestor into the shelf tray with placeholder argument in it. Aside from actuality able to bash it away, the notification allows you to accelerate in-line replies, or at atomic it will aback it works properly.
Phone Hub will acquiesce you to appearance contempo Chrome tabs from your buzz so you can bound aces up area you larboard off. This accomplish in the Chromium Gerrit offers added advice on what it does:
<message name=”IDS_SETTINGS_MULTIDEVICE_PHONE_HUB_TASK_CONTINUATION_SUMMARY” desc=”Description of for the ‘Phone Hub Task Continuation’ setting. This affection lets users resume in-app accomplishments and chrome tabs that are accessible on a affiliated Android buzz from Chrome OS devices.”>View contempo Chrome tabs from your phone
To clarify, “Task continuation” is a appellation acclimated for sending Chrome tabs beyond altered devices. Once you’ve visited a website application Chrome on your phone, the URL should arise in the Buzz Hub tray beneath “Recent Chrome tabs” aural seconds. 9to5Google speculated it ability “let you stop what you were accomplishing in an Android app on your buzz and aces aback up on your Chromebook” based on the “resume in-app actions” animadversion begin in the commit, but I don’t anticipate that’s the case based on the adapted strings. Instead, I accept Google is referencing Chrome custom tabs created by beat a articulation central an app (e.g., beat a articulation in the Google app).
Although it’s a affliction that we can’t seamlessly alteration from Android apps on the buzz to the aforementioned one on a Chromebook, actuality able to calmly jump aback into your Chrome tabs from added accessories will be a acceptable time-saver for many.
Several of us accept been cat-and-mouse always for Google to advance the cross-device synergy amid Chromebooks and Android. Although the affinity amid the two platforms has hardly bigger acknowledgment to Google’s apartment of “Better Together” features, it pales in allegory to Apple’s iPhone-Mac affiliation (even Microsoft’s Your Buzz app does a bigger job). It’s one of the capital affidavit that Apple’s ecosystem is alluring to so abounding consumers.
Google’s “Better Together” artwork.
Google’s Buzz Hub is the company’s acknowledgment to the bound affiliation of Apple’s products. Actuality able to ascendancy your phone, mirror notifications, and browse contempo Chrome tabs from your Android accessory is a massive advance from what we accept today. And with Nearby Sharing about the corner, it brings Google’s belvedere affiliation abuse abutting to what Apple and Microsoft accompany to the table.
I achievement Google will eventually apparatus syncing clipboard abstracts amid your accessories with Buzz Hub, agnate to Microsoft’s accomplishing with the Your Buzz app. Suppose you acquisition an angel or a block of argument on your buzz and could bound archetype and adhesive it into Google Docs on your Chromebook after accepting to alteration annihilation manually application Nearby Sharing. Similarly, actuality able to archetype argument or images on your Chromebook to your buzz would additionally be abundantly acceptable if you’re frequently on the go.
Phone Hub is abstraction up to be an agitative affection that will assuredly action the abysmal affiliation our Android and Chrome OS accessories absolutely deserve. If implemented competently, it could be cogent in persuading Android buzz users to accomplish the about-face to a Chromebook. I can’t delay to set up my Android accessory with Buzz Hub aback it starts working, which will hopefully be actual soon.
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