March 26, 2023

Google is trying to make it easier for developers to create Android apps that connect in some way across a range of devices.exist a blog postGoogle explained that it is rolling out a new cross-device software development kit (SDK) that contains the tools developers need to make their apps work well on Android devices, eventually on non-Android phones, tablets, Works well on TVs, cars, etc.

The SDK should allow developers to perform three key things with their apps: discovering nearby devices, establishing a secure connection between devices, and hosting the app experience on multiple devices. According to Google, its cross-device SDK uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ultra Wideband to provide multi-device connectivity.

Google shows how its cross-device SDK can be used for group ordering on different devices.
Image: Google

Google describes various use cases for its cross-device SDK on its documentation page, and it looks like it can come in handy in many situations. For example, it lets multiple users on different devices choose items from a menu when creating a group food order, saving you from passing your phone around the room. It also lets you pick up where you left off in an article when switching from phone to tablet, and even allows passengers in the car to share specific map locations with the vehicle’s navigation system.

This almost sounds like an extension for Nearby Share that enables Android users to transfer files to devices using Chrome OS and other Androids. In April, Esper’s Mishaal Rahman spotted an upcoming Nearby Share update that will let you quickly share files between Google-signed devices. Google also said in its keynote at CES 2022, It will bring nearby sharing to Windows devices later this year.

The Cross-Device Toolkit is currently available in developer preview and is currently only available for Android phones and tablets. Google eventually hopes to expand support to “other Android Surfaces and non-Android operating systems,” including iOS and Windows, but there’s no word on when that will happen. Since the feature is still in its early stages, we may not expect to see apps connecting between iOS and Android devices anytime soon. But it will be interesting to see how developers implement the new launch feature and whether it makes some apps more convenient to use.

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