• Google explained that it’s launching a new cross-device SDK that contains the tools developers need to make their apps play nice across Android devices.
  • According to Google, its cross-device SDK provides communication to several devices through the use of ultra-wideband, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

Google is working to make it easier for developers to create Android apps that can connect across several devices in some way or the other. Google explained in a blog post that it is launching a new cross-device Software Development Kit (SDK) that will contain the tools developers need to make their apps play nice across Android devices and, eventually, non-Android phones, tablets, TVs, cars, and other devices. The tools will be available in the coming weeks.

The SDK is designed to give programmers the ability to accomplish three important things with their apps:

  • Discover nearby devices
  • Create secure connections across devices
  • Host the experience of a single app across several devices

According to Google, its cross-device SDK provides connectivity across several devices through ultra-wideband, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

On the documentation page for its cross-device SDK, Google outlines many use cases for the SDK, and it appears that it might be helpful in various situations. It may, for instance, enable multiple users on different devices to pick things from a menu while generating a group meal order, which would save you the trouble of handing your phone around the room. It might also allow you to pick up reading an article where you left off when switching from your phone to a tablet. It could even enable passengers in a car to share a particular map point with the vehicle’s navigation system.

It sounds nearly like an augmentation of the Nearby Share feature, which enables Android users to send files to Chromebooks and other Android devices. In April, Esper’s Mishaal Rahman detected a planned change to Nearby Share that could allow you to rapidly share files across all devices with which you are logged into Google. If this update is released, it will be possible for you to share files using Nearby Share. In addition, Google said during its keynote address at CES 2022 that it would introduce Nearby Share to Windows devices later in 2018.

The cross-device toolkit is only compatible with Android smartphones and tablets in its preview form, which is now available for download. There is no information on when Google intends to provide support to “other Android surfaces and non-Android OSs,” such as Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows, but it does have this goal in mind. Because this technology is still in its infancy, it is doubtful if we will see any applications in the near future that can bridge the connection gap between iOS and Android devices. It will be interesting to see how developers implement the new capability and whether or not it will make using particular apps more convenient.