Google letting Android apps to work on multiple devices

Google plans a new SDK to make its apps work across Android devices, non-Android phones, tablets, TVs, vehicles, and other devices.

Fabio Ferreira
by Fabio Ferreira
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Google is working to simplify the process by which developers may produce Android apps compatible with various devices. The company has announced plans to release a new cross-device software development kit (SDK) on its blog. This new SDK will provide developers with the resources they need to adapt their apps for Android devices and, in the future, non-Android mobile phones, tablets, automobiles, and televisions. Google says the SDK will let developers build “seamless” experiences that can move between devices and platforms.

The SDK is designed to let developers accomplish three things with their apps: discover nearby devices, create secure connections between devices, and host an app’s experience across several devices. According to Google, its cross-device software development kit (SDK) enables communication across several devices via ultra-wideband, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

This SDK will offer a set of cross-device user interface (UI) components, including a “navigation drawer” that slides out from the side of the screen and an “embedded support” feature that allows developers to embed content from other apps. Google says the SDK will also offer a “cross-device sign-in” feature that lets users sign in to their apps on one device and have their account automatically sign them in on another.

Google offers many use cases for its cross-device SDK on its documentation website, which appears to be helpful in various circumstances. For example, generating a group meal order may allow numerous users on different devices to pick up things from a menu, sparing you from passing your phone around the room. It may also allow you to resume reading an article after switching from your phone to a tablet or allow passengers in a car to share a specific map point with the vehicle’s navigation system.

It almost seems like an extension of Nearby Share, which allows Android users to send files to Chromebooks and other Android devices. Mishaal Rahman of Esper spotted an upcoming update to Nearby Exchange in April, which may make sharing files across all your Google-enabled devices easier. During a keynote address at CES 2022, Google confirmed that the Windows version of Nearby Share would launch later in the year. Nearby Share might also allow you to share files between your Chromebook and Android device with friends and family.

The alleged new feature would be convenient if you’re trying to transfer a large amount of data. However, you might have to wait a while before you can try it out. The report said that the feature is still in the early stages of development and might not be available until later this year or next year.

Currently, the cross-device toolkit is only compatible with Android mobile devices. Google wants to support “other Android surfaces and non-Android OSs” like iOS and Windows in the future, but there is no set date. Since technology is still new, it’s unlikely that there will be apps that link iOS and Android devices any time soon. But it will be interesting to see how developers use the new features at first and if it makes certain apps easier to use.

The SDK is currently in a “developer preview” stage, and Google says it will release more features in the coming months.


Fabio Ferreira
Fabio Ferreira
Tech lead and Talent Specialist Acquisition. Helping Saas companies and scrappy startups. Nothing makes me happier than meeting new people, building new relationships, solving issues, and helping the success of enterprises.
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