Google plans to bring new cross-device features to Android

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(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google plans to expand Cross Device Services to Android devices, and the features are already available after enabling developer flags.
  • The new features include Call Cast, Wi-Fi Sharing, and Hotspot Sharing, and will be available via a Google Play Services update.
  • Cross Device Services is already available on Chromebooks, but more Android phones and tablets will be added into the mix.

Android phones and tablets will soon gain powerful cross-device features with a software update, according to Android leaker @AssembleDebug on X (via Android Police). The expert was able to enable a new cross-device sharing settings menu by flipping a bunch of developer flags, and this suggests that the features are nearing release.

The tools will be available as part of Google's Cross Device Services, which already work with Chromebooks and Android phones. Google wants to make it easy and convenient to use these devices together, and recent updates have brought key sharing features to both platforms. However, it isn't as easy to use multiple Android phones and tablets together, especially compared to something like Apple's ecosystem. 

This is what Google presumably wants to improve with a future software update. After enabling developer flags, the Devices & Sharing menu in Android now features a Cross Device Services tab. Google explains the set of features as helping you "easily find and share with other devices signed in to your Google Account."

It starts with creating a device group that tells Google what Android devices you own should work together. "Devices with the same Google Account can be added to a device group and use cross-device services together," the page explains. You can press the Add this device button to add the device you're currently using to the group or select Invite your other devices to send a notification to others. 

With a device group and Cross Device Services, you can use the Call Cast, Wi-Fi Sharing, and Hotspot Sharing features. 

Call Cast will let you move calls from one device to another within a device group. For example, you can send a phone call from your phone to your tablet if it's more convenient. Then, you can send the call back to your phone — or to another one — as you see fit. 

Internet or Wi-Fi Sharing is a simple yet useful feature. It allows users to let their other devices connect to a single device's Wi-Fi or hotspot network. 

Considering that Cross Device Services works on Android now with developer flags flipped, it stands to reason that the features aren't too far away from release. It could make sense for these features to debut as part of the March Feature Drop, but it's worth noting that Google has not publicly revealed any of them yet.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.