December 1, 2023

Google Just Upgraded File and Wi-Fi Sharing on Chromebooks

Chrome OS Phone Hub image with recent photos

Google has rolled out several improvements to Chromebooks recently, and now, new features for file transfer and sharing are arriving in the Chrome OS 103 update.

Chrome OS already has a ‘Phone Hub’ feature, which can connect to an Android phone and provide access to some of the phone’s apps and services (such as app streaming and a hotspot toggle). Google started testing a ‘Recent Photos’ section of Phone Hub as early as May, and now it’s rolling out to everyone.

Google said in a blog post, “after taking a picture on your phone, it will automatically appear within Phone Hub on your laptop under “recent photos.” Just click on the image to download it, then it’s ready to be added to a document or email.” That should cut down on the number of times you might need to email yourself a file, or upload a few files to cloud storage just to download them on a single computer.

Sharing "Home WiFi" with a Chromebook using Nearby Share

Google is also adding the ability to send a Wi-Fi network from an Android phone to a Chromebook, including the password, using the same Nearby Share feature that already works for file transfers. That makes connecting a Chromebook to a network your phone has already joined easy, especially if you tend to forget passwords.

Chromebooks have received plenty of other new features over the past few months. Earlier this month, Google officially released a ‘Screencast’ app that adds new screen recording features to Chromebooks, including the ability to draw on top of a recording and adding a voiceover. There’s also a new Cursive app for handwritten notes, on Chromebooks with stylus support.

The new features are rolling out now to all Chromebooks. You can wait until your Chromebook installs the latest Chrome OS update, or manually check for an update and install it (if available).

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