An in-depth change in Google Play services could soon allow users to stream apps from their phone to their Chromebook. This is based on a new report from XDA Developers after a first teardown in the update version 21.21.12.
Google didn’t provide any details in the underlying code on how this would work exactly. But the implications of the code found are pretty simple. The changes initially relate to a string called apps_stream_enabled_description, which also includes “Stream apps to your Chromebook”.
The secondary change simply points to a string named “apps_stream_enabled_title” with the descriptor “Apps”.
What could this mean for apps for Chromebook users with Android phones?
Well, that function was first hinted at in February. And it seems the change is directly, and unsurprisingly, related to Phone Hub. For the sake of clarity, this is the Chromebook and Android feature, which enables extensive notification integration, phone control, and more on Chromebooks. And based on previous changes to this feature, Chromebooks can also stream apps through this feature.
This is done using a new system web app, with which both video and bidirectional data are synchronized via WebRTC. In fact, it will mirror the phone screen for the apps in question and then streamed data to and from that source device and Chromebook.
In short, users can stream on their Chromebook to access the apps on their phone.
Will the Pixel be exclusive and when will it come?
As with at least some other non-Chrome OS related features, this feature is currently expected to be exclusive to the Pixel brand. It will only work with pixel smartphones if the current speculations are correct.
In the meantime, there is also no way of knowing exactly when it could arrive. And there is no guarantee that it will actually be a Pixel Exclusive feature if it does. That’s if it matters at all. But it is certainly not active yet.