Google announced at CES 2022 that it is working on a feature, allegedly called “Eche”, that will allow Android phone users stream/ mirror apps and notifications directly on Chromebooks. While Google did not reveal any details about the feature, its working has been demonstrated in a new report. A video clip shared in the report explains the working by taking an example of the Twitter app. The feature has reportedly been tested on a Google Pixel smartphone running Android 13 Developer Preview build, and it was found that this “Chrome OS exclusive feature” works on Windows 11 as well.
As per the details shared in the report by 9to5Google, the feature seems similar to Microsoft’s Your Phone app that allows Android users to access their messages and notifications directly on Windows PC models. In fact, Google already has “Phone Hub” that allows users to access an Android phone’s features on a Chromebook screen. The difference, however, is presumed to be the deeper integration of this feature with Chrome OS.
Folks at 9to5Google claim that they were able to test a Google Phone Hub-like feature, reportedly called Eche, on a Google Pixel smartphone. This is said to be a “System Web App,” which means it is a built-in Chrome OS app created using Web technologies, and users may not have to download or install any other app separately to make this work.
At CES 2022, Google announced that Chromebook users will get the ability in the dedicated Phone Hub section to view and respond to messages they get on their Android phones directly from the larger screen of their computing device. However, Eche reportedly allows users to reply to messages, check incoming notifications, and see a live feed of apps installed on a Pixel phone.
9to5Google reports that they were able to find two “Cross Device” service apps in Android 13 Developer Preview build for Pixel phones. These service apps allowed for cross-device streaming between a Pixel phone on Android 13 and a special Web app, according to the report, adding that this “Chrome OS exclusive feature” also ran on a Windows 11 device.
The feature includes a multicolour background and users can interact with the app “as if it were natively open on your laptop/desktop”. Furthermore, it does not simply mirror a screen but generates an entirely separate virtual display, the report says. Furthermore, the feature does not disrupt the functioning when an app was opened either on the laptop or on the phone’s main screen, 9to5Google reports.
As per a short clip shared by the publication, the screen of the feature has buttons to send feedback, stop the app/ video feed, go back a page, and resize the display in the top-right corner. Along with these buttons, there are options to use tablet screen mode and phone mode. The bottom left has a menu button that shows the full list of apps installed on the connected phone. There is a rectangular box on the right side that shows a feed of the connected phone’s current notifications, as per the report.