Android 13 preview shows how Pixel phones can stream apps to your PC


Google’s January roundup revealed plans to try to align the Android and Chrome OS experience with Apple’s ecosystem integrations by 2022, including a feature that would mirror a messaging app from your Android phone to your Chromebook. Thanks to 9to5GoogleAfter doing some digging into the recently released Android 13 developer preview, we can get an early look at what that feature will look like.

Google first outlined the mirror function in January
Image: Google

Based on what 9to5Google found, it looks like Google will essentially enable streaming apps on your computer. And the feature may also work on non-Chrome OS computers, such as 9to5Google says it used the affected web app on both Chrome OS and Windows 11.

This is how the feature works, according to: 9to5Google

Your Pixel generates a completely separate virtual screen, which is streamed to your laptop or desktop, rather than simply mirroring your phone’s portrait screen. This second screen is where your messaging apps appear. This means you can open an app on your laptop/desktop without interfering with the apps on your phone’s main screen.

And it’s not just messaging – you’ll apparently be able to open each from your phone’s apps:

At the bottom left is a menu button which, when clicked, reveals the full list of apps installed on your phone. With this menu you can start each app on your phone, not just the messaging apps. In fact, your entire phone can be accessed through Pixel’s cross-device streaming.

9to5Google’s article has some videos and screenshots that do a great job of showing what this app is capable of, and i highly recommend checking out the story to see it in action.

Here is a screenshot of a 9to5Google video with the app streaming Twitter.
Image: 9to5Google

9to5Google also got cross-device streaming enabled in Chrome OS, though it looks like the publication could only make a messaging app work.

As with any feature in development, there is always a chance that some 9to5Google changes found prior to a public release. And since we’ve only just gotten the very first preview from Android 13 developers, there’s certainly a possibility that things will look or work very differently if or when these features become available. Still, what? 9to5Google found looks promising.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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