New cross-device SDK availability
As per the blog, currently, the cross-device toolkit is available in a developer preview and only works with Android phones and tablets. However, Google is expected to extend support to other Android platforms and non-Android operating systems which include — Windows and iOS.
Meanwhile, the blog doesn’t confirm when this toolkit will include other non-Android devices. Moreover, the report also suggests that it may take some time before the connectivity gap between iOS and Android devices is bridged as the toolkit is in its early days of development.
How will the new SDK work
The blog explains that the new SDK is expected to allow developers to do three key things with their apps — discover nearby devices, establish secure connections between devices, and host an app’s experience across multiple devices. Google has also mentioned that its cross-device SDK uses — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ultra-wideband to deliver multi-device connectivity support.
How this new toolkit can be helpful
Google has described multiple use cases for its cross-device SDK in its blog post. The company wants developers to implement this new capability to make using certain apps more convenient, the report claims. For instance, this toolkit can help multiple people using separate devices choose items from a menu while creating a group food order. This will save you from passing the phone around the room for different orders.
This new capability will also help users to continue an article from where they left off while switching between phones and tablets. Moreover, this toolkit can also allow the car’s passengers to share a specific map location with the vehicle’s navigation system.
According to the report by The Verge, this new capability “almost sounds like an expansion of Nearby Share.” This feature allows Android users to easily transfer files to Chromebooks and other Android devices.
The report mentions that an upcoming Nearby Share update was also spotted by Esper in April. This update could allow users to quickly share files across the devices where they have their Google accounts signed in. Moreover, the company during the CES 2022 keynote, even announced that it will introduce the Nearby Share feature to Windows devices later this year.