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Google wants Android apps with near sharing experiences

For the Android team, “Better Together” has been a persistent theme in announcements at CES and now I/O 2022. In addition to cross-device experiences in its own products, Google wants to enable third-party Android developers to easily build products similar. Nearby Share experiences in their apps.

Today, Nearby Sharing lets you send text, files, and other information between Android devices and Chromebooks. At I/O, Google demonstrated its ability to copy something (URL, text, or image) from your phone and paste it onto your tablet.

The exact workflow involves Android 13’s new Clipboard overlay, which appears after you’ve copied something, displaying a new Share button near it. This opens a sheet with the same title that provides an overview and displays nearby devices. Once sent, you can simply paste as you normally would on the target device.

We’ve been hard at work building a software stack to enable cross-device experiences that are both platform and developer-focused by leveraging ultra-wideband, Bluetooth, and Wireless.

Google wants all apps, not just the operating system, to have similar experiences across all devices (see Creating Powerful, Cross-Device Experiences session), and it will “design, build, and deliver the framework and core capabilities that enable devices across the Android device ecosystem to increase the value of each.”

These APIs will also support two-way communication between devices so that two devices can not only talk to each other but also share a common task. These APIs will also be backwards compatible to API 26, so you can start using them now. We also intend to support cross-platform development, extending beyond Android to cover Chrome OS, iOS, Windows and other platforms.

Example of nearby and cross-device sharing experiences in Android apps covering personal and community experiences:

  • Rent or buy a movie on your TV using your phone to enter your payment method.
  • Start reading a long article on your phone and finish it on your tablet without losing where you are.
  • Share a map location as a passenger directly with your friend’s car.
  • Share your Sunday cycling route with other people you cycle with.
  • Collect items for a group food order without having to pass your phone.

To simplify the work of discovering devices that can join a multi-device experience, we’ve taken the logic that Nearby Sharing uses to discover and authorize devices and augmented it with additional features so your app can easily join. devices in a shared experience while preserving the user. privacy.

In terms of implementation, the initial rollout of these developer capabilities will be through Google Play Services, but the plan is to add to AOSP starting with Android U. A first preview is coming in Q2 2022.

More Android at I/O 2022:

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