Android 12 may bring one of iPhone's best features to Google Pixel phones

Google Pixel 5a Rear 2
Google Pixel 5a Rear 2 (Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android 12 looks set to introduce a new feature that will link Google's Pixel phones and Chromebooks.
  • The rumored "Push" feature will allow you to mirror a mobile app on Chrome OS.
  • Push could be a Pixel-exclusive feature at launch.

Google's rumored cross-device integration feature that borrows from Apple's Handoff capability could launch exclusively on the Pixel phones at first. The new feature, dubbed "Push," is supposed to let you stream your phone screen to your Chromebook.

Push is expected to roll out sometime after Android 12 arrives presumably in the first week of October. According to 9to5Google, the feature can be triggered by opening the Recents menu and then tapping Push. This method will present a list of Chromebook devices with which you can mirror a mobile app, allowing you to pick up where you left off.

Google Pixel Push Feature

Source: 9to5Google (Image credit: Source: 9to5Google)

Another way of pushing apps from some of the best Android phones to Chromebooks is to open the app on your laptop by clicking on a mirrored notification in Chrome OS. You can then resume your previous activity without having to pick up your Google Pixel 5a, for example. This particular method seems to build upon an existing Chrome OS capability called Phone Hub, which lets you control your phone from a Chromebook.

However, the new feature will presumably use a direct stream connection. This means both your Pixel phone and Chromebook need to be on the same local Wi-Fi network for the feature to work.

It seems that Push won't natively run apps on Chrome OS. Instead, it will stream an interactive video feed of Android apps to your laptop. As 9to5Google noted, this method seems a bit strange seeing as Android apps can already run on some of the best Chromebooks. This isn't unlike Microsoft's Your Phone app for Windows 10, where users can more or less stream their phone screen from their computer, though it only works with Samsung phones.

Apple's Handoff feature is unique in that it requires an app to be installed natively on an iOS, iPad OS, or macOS device before it can be used.

Push was first hinted at by a Chromium code in February. There's no clear indication for now as to when and if Push will become available to consumers.

Google Pixel 5a 5g Product Render

Google Pixel 5a

The Google Pixel 5a is a budget smartphone with an impressive battery life, two excellent cameras, 5G connectivity, and stunning display brightness, among others. The phone will be among the first to receive Google's latest software updates, including Android 12.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.