Earlier this year, Google revealed a few details about its plan to make our devices, from Android phones, PCs, and Chromebooks, work better together. Now, thanks to the release of the first Android 13 developer preview, we’re getting our first look at Pixel phones streaming apps and more to other devices.
This isn’t just the ability to mirror your screen or a messaging app to a Chromebook, either. Instead, we’re seeing something far more useful and complex. According to 9to5Google, a web app and system in place on Android 13 will allow users to stream apps to a Chromebook or Windows PC, delivering improved cross-device support.
The experience varies if you’re on a ChromeOS device, which may have this ability built-in, but the most exciting aspect is the web app. Rather than simply mirroring your phone to a PC, 9to5Google managed to open an app and then send that entire experience along with a completely new virtual screen to a Chromebook or PC. Then, interact with the app or messaging service right on the computer as if natively installed on the device.
And because Android 13 is sharing a “virtual display” to the Chromebook or PC, you can stream apps to one device while opening other apps or completing different tasks from the Pixel phone. The two work together, yet also separately.
More importantly, this works with all apps on your smartphone, not just text message applications. It sounds like there’s a menu button in the web app that reveals a complete list of apps installed on your phone. From here, users can open, then stream any app to a Windows 11 PC or a Chromebook.
It’s worth noting that this feature isn’t readily available in the Android 13 dev preview yet, but some people managed to get it working. We expect Google to share more details in the coming weeks or months, either at Google I/O or with upcoming Android 13 developer preview releases. Still, this shows that Google is committed to delivering an improved experience across all devices.