With Your Phone in Windows 10, Microsoft was able to bring Android phones closer together with Windows, but it now looks as though Google could be doing the same for its laptop operating system, too.
According to a recent report from 9to5Google, the search engine giant is playing with the idea of allowing users to cast their Pixel phones to a Chromebook — in the same way that Microsoft’s Your Phone app lets Samsung Android phone owners cast their devices to Windows.
This feature would build on Google’s current “Phone Hub” project in Chrome OS, which recently went live for some Chromebook owners running Chrome OS 90 Canary. Though Phone Hub in this current state only allows for controlling notifications and syncing tab and settings, 9to5Google did also discover hints to an “Enable Eche App SWA” flag in Chromium source code. This appears to be related to a new feature for Phone Hub.
This flag apparently is about enabling a System Web App version of “Eche,” which, when translated from Spanish to English, means “Cast. ” That said, 9to5Google also found another snippet also explains what “Eche” is, saying that it’s an app related to a video feed being broadcast over WebRTC. Presumably, you’d be able to click a notification on your Android phone, and then stream it to your Chromebook.
Putting that together, it’s believed this indeed could be a Phone Casting feature, though the code suggests it could only be for Pixel phones for now. With ChromeOS already supporting Android Apps natively, it will be interesting to see what Google manages to do with this, especially since not all Android Apps work on ChromeOS. Rumor has it this could come with a Pixel quarterly feature drop, which means it’s quite a while away.