MacBooks and iPhones can easily share data, Internet connections, and even Wi-Fi logins thanks to the fact that only one company makes both the hardware and the software. Google doesn’t really have that luxury at least on the hardware front, making it harder for it to push features that bridge its different platforms together. Fortunately, it hasn’t given up on that yet and will soon be syncing one small but important kind of data between Android and Chrome OS devices, making it easier for both devices to connect to the same Wi-Fi networks in a snap.
It’s easy to take for granted the chore of connecting to a Wi-Fi network for the first time until you get a new device or switch from an old one. Given the sudden rise in demand for devices like Chromebooks and phones, that will most certainly come up more frequently these days. Wouldn’t it be grand if you could enter the Wi-Fi password only once on one device and all your others will magically know them automatically?
That’s what an upcoming update to Chrome OS’s Wi-Fi sync will be able to do. Chrome OS devices are already able to share Wi-Fi networks among themselves but soon Android devices will join in on the conversation as well. This syncing will be a two-way street, even, so that Wi-Fi passwords you enter in one will sync to the other as well, regardless if it was an Android phone or a Chromebook.
Wi-Fi Sync initially worked only on devices where you’ve signed into Chrome. 9to5Google points out that this new password-sharing will be utilizing Chrome OS’ “Connected Devices” framework, which means it will be a slightly more secure data transfer over Bluetooth rather than over the Internet.
The change to Wi-Fi sync is still fresh and might not even roll out until Chrome OS 87 later this year. It’s still a new feature worth waiting for as it makes Google’s operating systems feel more united even if they are really different.