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Chrome OS may pick up this awesome feature from Android

(Image credit: HP)

With macOS 11 picking up the iOS design language and a lot of new features from iPadOS, it only makes sense that Chrome OS should learn a thing or two from Android.

The latest handy feature that could be on its way to Chrome OS is Android's method for sharing items between apps. The team at 9to5Google uncovered a new "Sharesheet" flag in the latest chrome://flags page for Chrome OS, which is often a source for features that are coming in future releases.

On Android, if a user wants to share content (photos, files, links, etc) from one app to another, they click the share button, which pulls up a scrollable menu at the bottom of the screen with options to share the item with contacts, frequently used apps and other services.

There's no equivalent universal sharing feature on Chrome OS at the moment. With Android also introducing its Nearby Sharing feature sometime soon (Google's AirDrop equivalent) it would be a logical time to bring some order to the chaos of sharing on its different platforms.

At the moment not much else is known about the feature. The prototype code suggests that it will be located in the toolbar to the right of the address bar, but notes suggest this is not a final design decision. We assume sharing will be available for any Android apps installed on the Chromebook, Chrome itself, and any progressive web apps, but again, there isn't any direct evidence to confirm that yet.

It's an interesting year for laptop operating systems as they slowly integrate some of the more simplistic implementations from the smartphone world. This makes more sense on Chrome OS than on macOS as numerous manufacturers are creating tablets or 2-in-1s running Google's desktop OS. 

The timeline is always a mystery for features that show up in Chrome flags. It could be just a couple of months away or much longer, regardless, this is a useful and much-needed addition for Chrome OS so let's hope it's not a long wait.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.