Google is trying to make it easier for developers to create Android apps that somehow communicate across a range of devices. in Blog postGoogle explains that it is releasing a new cross-device software development kit (SDK) that contains the tools developers need to make their apps work well across Android devices, and eventually phones, tablets, TVs, non-Android cars, and more.
The SDK is supposed to allow developers to do three main things with their apps: discover nearby devices, establish secure connections between devices, and host an app experience across multiple devices. According to Google, the cross-device SDK uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ultra-wideband to provide multi-device connectivity.
Google describes different use cases for the SDK across devices on his documentation pageIt appears that it may be useful in many scenarios. For example, it can allow multiple users on separate devices to choose items from a menu when creating a group food order, saving you from having to pass your phone across the room. It can also let you pick up where you left off in an article when you switch from your phone to a tablet, or even let passengers in the car share a specific location on the map with the car’s navigation system.
It almost looks like an expansion of Nearby Sharing, which enables users on Android to transfer files to devices using Chrome OS and other Android systems. in April, Mishaal Rahman from Esper spotted an upcoming update for a close post It can let you quickly share files across devices you’re signed in to Google with. Google also said during a CES 2022 keynote that It will bring Neighbor Sharing to Windows devices later this year.
The cross-device toolkit is currently available in developer preview and only works with Android phones and tablets at this time. Google eventually wants to extend support to “other Android skins and non-Android operating systems,” including iOS and Windows, but there’s no word on when that will happen. Since the capability is in its early days, we probably shouldn’t expect to see apps that connect iOS and Android devices any time soon. But it will be interesting to see how developers implement the new start-up capability, and whether it will make using certain apps more convenient.