Following a Google Material Theme update in September and a complete launcher redesign aimed at tablets and other touchscreen devices, Chrome OS 71 is rolling out. A big focus of this update is improving the experience of owning a Chromebook and an Android device.
This integration between Chrome OS devices and Android phones is aptly named “Better Together.” Upon updating to Chrome OS 71, a notification notes how “Your devices work even better together.” Tapping the alert or heading to the new “Connected devices” section in Settings opens a prompt noting what this entails. Setup involves confirming the Google Account used on both the laptop and phone.
Available functionality varies by both phone and Chromebook. On a Pixel phone, Better Together brings together the existing Instant Tethering feature to share internet from Android to a Chrome OS device. There is also Smart Unlock that allows a nearby phone to open a paired Chromebook.
All devices should benefit from the Messages for web integration that uses the same web app with QR code pairing procedure. A Chrome support document notes that Android 5.1 Lollipop is required on your phone for Better Together integrations to work.
For the most part, Better Together helps bring together existing features that were previously in different menus. Google does note that more integrations are coming over time.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht