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Chrome OS to mimic OS X Yosemite with smartphone continuity features

Will also soon be able to run Android apps
Wed Jun 25 2014, 19:12

Google Chrome logoSOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google's Chrome operating system (OS) will soon boast a smartphone continuity feature, similar to that which Apple introduced in Mac OS X Yosemite.

"Users almost always have a smartphone with them when they use their laptop, and we want to connect these experience together," said Sundar Pichai, head of Android at Google, during the firm's I/O press conference on Wednesday.

Similar to a feature unveiled in Android L that allows users to unlock their smartphone or tablet device when it detects their smartwatch, Google announced that users will be able to set the Chromebook to automatically unlock when it sees that their handset is in range. Of course, this feature will be offered on an opt-in basis, otherwise somebody who steals both your laptop and smartphone device has got it pretty easy.

Google also announced that users will be able to receive notifications from their smartphones on their Chromebook devices, such as a low-battery warning or a pop-up when somebody is calling. However, it seems that unlike the nearly-identical feature in OS X Yosemite, users won't be able to take calls using their laptop.

Google also shocked I/O crowds on Wednesday with the announcement that it is looking to bring Android apps to Chrome OS, and it gave quick demonstrations of apps including Flipboard and Vine working on the Google Chromebook Pixel.

"We want this to be intuitive. These apps were built for Android, but we want them to work when there is a mouse and keyboard present," Pichai said, adding that this feature is still in the "very early stages", suggesting that it is unlikely to debut any time soon.

Google has yet to announce when these new features will be coming to Chrome OS. µ

 

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