Google makes it easier to sync photos and Wi-Fi passwords with Chromebooks

Google takes a few pages out of Apple’s playbook with the release of Chrome OS 103.

The company says:(Opens in a new window) the operating system update introduces the ability to automatically sync photos and share Wi-Fi settings between a Chromebook and a paired Android smartphone. The former is a lot like iCloud Photos, which syncs images between Apple devices, but Google actually plans to make the feature much more powerful than its competitor’s offering.

“With the latest update, you now also have instant access to the latest photos you’ve taken with your phone, even when you’re offline,” says Google. “After you take a photo on your phone, it will automatically appear in Phone Hub on your laptop under ‘recent photos’. Just click on the image to download it and it’s ready to be added to a document or email. mail.”

The company’s response to sharing Wi-Fi settings between devices seems a little less convincing. Google says users must follow a multi-step process on their Android phone to share the information with a nearby Chromebook; Apple’s offering asks users to share a Wi-Fi password if their device is unlocked and connected to the respective network.

A new feature called Fast Pair designed for Bluetooth headphones

But Google has another trick planned for Chrome OS. It’s called Fast Pair, and the company says Chromebooks can “automatically detect when a new Bluetooth headset is turned on, nearby, and ready to be set up.” The devices can then be paired with a single press (or tap) on a pop-up that appears when those conditions are met.

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“Whether you want to use a new pair of headphones to watch a video, join a virtual meeting, or listen to music, Fast Pair will make it hassle-free,” Google says. “This feature will be compatible with hundreds of different headphone models – and there are more.” The company says it plans to release Fast Pair in a separate update to Chrome OS later this summer.

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