Google Pixel with Android 13 can stream phone apps to Chrome OS, Windows 11: report

Deepak Gupta February 15, 2022
Updated 2022/02/15 at 11:05 AM

Google announced at CES 2022 that it is working on a feature, reportedly called “Eche”, that will allow Android phone users to stream/mirror apps and notifications directly to Chromebooks. While Google hasn’t revealed any details about the feature, its workings have been demonstrated in a new report. A video clip shared in the report explains how it works, taking the Twitter app as an example. The feature was tested on a Google Pixel smartphone running Android 13 Developer Preview, and this “Chrome OS exclusive feature” was found to work on Windows 11 as well.

According to the details shared in the report from 9to5Google, the feature looks similar to Microsoft’s Your Phone app, which allows Android users to access their messages and notifications directly on Windows PC models. In fact, Google already has “Phone Center” which allows users to access the features of an Android phone on a Chromebook screen. The difference, however, should be the deeper integration of this feature with Chrome OS.

The folks at 9to5Google claim they were able to test a similar feature to Google Phone Hub, supposedly called Eche, on a Google Pixel smartphone. This is said to be a “System Web App”, meaning it is an integrated Chrome OS application built using web technologies, and users may not need to download or install any other applications separately for this to work.

At CES 2022, Google announced that Chromebook users will have the ability in the dedicated section of the Phone Hub to view and respond to incoming messages 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 view a live feed of apps installed on a Pixel phone.

9to5Google reports that it was able to find two “Cross Device” service apps in the Android 13 Developer Preview version for Pixel phones. These service apps allowed cross-device streaming between a Pixel phone on Android 13 and a special web app, according to the report, adding that this “Chrome OS unique feature” also worked on a Windows 11 device.

The feature includes a multi-color background and users can interact with the app “as if it were open natively on their laptop/desktop”. Furthermore, it doesn’t simply mirror a screen, but generates an entirely separate virtual display, the report says. Also, the feature doesn’t stop working when an app is opened on the laptop or the phone’s main screen, reports 9to5Google.

As a short clip shared by the post, the feature screen has buttons to send feedback, stop the app/video feed, go back one page and resize the view in the upper right corner. Along with these buttons are options to use tablet screen mode and phone mode. The bottom left corner has a menu button that shows the complete list of apps installed on the connected phone. There is a rectangular box on the right side that shows a feed of the current notifications from the connected phone as per the report.

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