Your Chromebook now has access to your phone’s photos

The latest update for Chromebooks, ChromeOS 103, launches some of the exciting new features announced at Google I/O and CES, including the ability to view your Android phone’s photos on your Chromebook.

There are three new things to look out for on your Chromebook in ChromeOS 103, but the biggest feature is the ability to instantly access the latest photos you’ve taken with your phone right on your Chromebook via Phone Hub.

The second feature, meanwhile, lets you get a Chromebook online with Near Share. Things are capped off with a new Screencast feature, which makes it easier to record your screen in fun, new ways natively in ChromeOS.

This new ability to view photos from your Android phone on your Chromebook works even when you’re offline. After you take a photo on your phone, it will show up in Phone Hub on your laptop under a new ‘recent photos’ section. This eliminates the need to email photos or use cloud services. Conceptually, it’s a lot like the photo feature in Microsoft’s Phone Link app on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

As for nearby sharing, you can now go to the internet settings page on your Android phone, select Wi-Fi network, then Share and tap the file Nearby below the QR code to bring your Chromebook online. This will transfer the Wi-Fi credentials to your Chromebook so that it can easily connect to the Internet.

We’ve talked about Screencast before in a sitdown with Google, and it’s designed so anyone can record, crop, and share transcribed screen recordings to Google Drive. It’s a new system app in ChromeOS 103, and you can even draw or write on the screen while recording. The app is simple and easy to use compared to competing solutions on MacOS and Windows.

Google says some additional features will be coming to ChromeOS this summer, including features that make all your devices work better together. One example is Fast Pair, which allows you to pair hundreds of headphones, including Pixel Buds, with your Chromebook device much faster.

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