All of your Android devices utilize the same applications, but switching between them in the middle of a task can be difficult and is not always doable.
Google has announced a new software development kit (SDK) for developers in an effort to iron out the wrinkles. According to Google, the SDK will let developers design apps that connect to and play well with other instances running on a variety of Android devices.
Google aims to eventually extend the toolkit, which is now available as a developer preview, to enable customers to continue using their apps on non-Android phones, tablets, TVs, vehicles, and other devices.
Roy Solberg, Android Tech Lead at FotMob, told Lifewire via email, “For the typical Android user, it could imply that more apps will enable user-friendly multi-device experiences.” “In practice, apps can enable [users] to prepare a meal order on their phone, pick it up, then continue the order on their laptop before submitting it.
Another example would be logging into your streaming account on your mobile device and then having it automatically log you in on your television without requiring you to enter your credentials or scan a QR code.”
Google Does an Apple
Solberg informs us that while developers can create identical multi-device experiences, in theory, this is rarely the case in fact.
Solberg explained that the reason behind this is that the overhead associated with creating such features is typically too high. With Google now focusing on cross-device features and making it easy to create them, I’m hopeful that we’ll begin to see truly exceptional user experiences.
Gaurav Chandra, chief technology officer of the LGBTQ+ social network As You Are, feels that the toolkit is Google’s attempt to replicate the experience offered by Apple’s Handoff.
Chandra claims that due to the tight integration of Apple’s hardware and software, iOS users have a far superior multi-device experience than those in the fragmented Android ecosystem, where each device manufacturer has its own customized version of Android.
“Because of this issue, Android app developers have not been able to offer the same experience as Apple developers,” Chandra wrote in an email to Crossover99. “Google wants Android to compete with Apple Handoff with this new SDK,”
According to Chandra, one of the most significant benefits of the new toolkit is its ability to enable devices to connect with one another directly, resulting in a significantly smoother user experience without having to traverse the internet.
Vivaldi’s Team Lead and Senior Developer for mobile applications, Jarle Antonsen, is also looking forward to toying with the toolkit, despite the fact that the SDK is now only accessible as a developer preview.
Antonsen told Lifewire via email, “It appears like this is something we might leverage to improve our Sync capability so that customers may transfer data more effectively throughout our mobile, automobile, and desktop browsers without going through the cloud.”
Chandra looks forward to the day when he can make a video call on his OnePlus smartphone and easily continue it on his Samsung tablet without a cumbersome process.
Additionally, the multi-device experience is not restricted to the user’s own devices. Solberg explains that by utilizing this toolkit, developers may design experiences in which users can collaborate and engage more readily with others, such as their friends and family.
In fact, one of the use cases described by Google in the SDK documentation is the ability for different users on various devices to select menu items while placing a group meal order rather than passing the phone around the room.
The toolkit is now only compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, but Google has stated in a blog post that it intends to ultimately provide support for other Android devices and non-Android operating systems.
Solberg stated, “I hope that developers would utilize this toolkit in inventive ways to create social multiplayer games where users can play with others in the same geographical area.”