Better Together has been a recurring theme for the Android team in presentations at CES and now I/O 2022. Google aims to make it simple for outside Android developers to implement similar Nearby Share experiences in their apps, in addition to cross-device interactions in its own products.

Sending text, files, and other types of information between Chromebooks and Android devices is currently possible via Nearby Share. Google demonstrated the ability to copy something (a URL, text, or image) from your phone and paste it onto your tablet at I/O.

In particular, the new Android 13 Clipboard overlay, which emerges after copying anything and displays a new Nearby Share button, is involved in the process. This brings up a sheet with a similar name that displays nearby devices and shows a preview. After its transmitted, you may just paste as you usually would on the target device.

We’ve been working hard to establish a software stack that will enable multi-device experiences that leverage ultra-wideband, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi while also being developer- and platform-driven.

Check out the Build powerful, multi-device experiences session for more information on Google’s desire for all applications, not just the OS, to provide comparable cross-device experiences. To that end, Google will design, develop, and deliver the fundamental framework and capabilities necessary for devices throughout the Android device ecosystem to build upon one another’s value.

These APIs will also enable two-way communication between devices, allowing them to cooperate on a single job in addition to communicating with one another. You can use these APIs right away because they are backwards compatible with API 26 as well. Beyond Android, we also want to offer cross-platform development for Chrome OS, iOS, Windows, and other operating systems.

Examples of nearby share and cross-device interactions in Android apps cover both private and public realms:

Use your phone to enter your payment information when renting or buying movies for your TV. Without losing your place, you can begin reading a lengthy article on your phone and finish it on your tablet. Share a map location with your friend’s car while riding in it. Tell the people you ride with about your Sunday cycling trip. Without passing your phone around, gather items for a group food order. We extracted the logic Nearby Share uses to discover and authorize devices and enhanced it with additional capabilities to make it easier to find devices that can participate in a multi-device experience. As a result, your application can quickly join devices in a shared experience while protecting user privacy.

The developer capabilities will first be made available through Google Play Services, but starting with Android U, it is intended to be added to AOSP. In Q2 2022, an early preview will be released.

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