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How to stream Android apps to your Chromebook

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ChromeOS is fast becoming a more powerful platform. It’s no longer the bloated Google Chrome browser it used to be. It’s grown up, and its latest feature lets you stream apps from your Android phone. Here’s how to stream your apps to your Chromebook.

A feature like this can really come in handy, especially in our connected world. If you’re hard at work, you’d want to avoid having to constantly pick up your phone just to check your notifications and check your messages. It breaks up your workflow and causes an unnecessary distraction. It gets worse when we need to constantly access our phones for our work.

This is where streaming your apps comes in

So, what is this feature? Well, imagine if you could take your entire phone and just plug it into ChromeOS. App streaming isn’t quite that, but it’s pretty close.

This feature allows you to run full apps from your phone directly on your Chromebook. You’re running it directly from your phone, so you don’t need to install that app to your Chromebook or start the app from scratch. If you were using the app on your phone, you can pick up right from where you left off.

App streaming gives you most of the capabilities of the apps you use. There are apps that you can’t use, as they’re blocked by your Chromebook. There are other apps that require you to use pieces of your phone’s hardware. So, don’t expect to make posts using Snapchat.

Other than that, you’re free to use these apps. You can also jump from the first app you’re using to other apps as you need. Say, you open a link in Twitter, and you select to open the link in Chrome. Well, it will open Chrome as well.

When you open an app using the app streaming feature, it will also open on your phone. So, it’s actually open on your phone’s RAM, and it will behave as such. However, when you bring the app to the forefront on your phone, it will stop streaming to your Chromebook. This means that you’re able to pick up right where you left off when switching devices.

How to stream apps to your Chromebook

So, if this sounds interesting to you, then you’d want to give it a shot. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that, as of the time of writing this article (July 2023), the list of compatible devices is pretty limited. However, this limitation only applies to the phone that you’re using.

Limitations

Google is going to expand the compatibility as time goes on, but for the time being, there’s only a handful of phones that can use this feature. You can use it if you’re rocking a Pixel 4a or newer. Also, you can if you have a Xiaomi 12 Pro, 12T Pro, 13, or 13 Pro. So, if you have one of those 11 phones, then you’re good to get this set up.

When it comes to the Chromebook, it’s not as limited. Google didn’t specify any specific model that you needed to have. So, you should be good with most any computer. However, you need to have the most up-to-date version of ChromeOS. At the time of writing this article, we’re on (Version 115.0.5790.131).

Setting it up

Now, in order to set up this feature, there are a few things that you’ll need to set up first. First, make sure that your Chromebook is up to date. Open your settings and scroll all the way down on the left panel until you see the About ChromeOS section. When you click on it, you’ll see a page that will show you the current version your Chromebook is on.

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a Check for update button. Click on it; if there is an update available, it will update your system, If not, then it will tell you that your computer is up to date.

Next, you’ll want to enable Phone Hub. This is a panel that has information and settings that affect your phone. Go back to your settings and click on the Connected Devices section. There, you’ll see a section called Android phone. Click on the Set up button on the right of the screen.

When you do, you’ll see a dropdown menu with a list of the devices connected to your Google account. Select the phone that you want to connect. After that, enter your Google account password. Once you enter your password, you’ll get an All done screen that you can exit out of.

Back in the settings, you’ll see your phone with a little arrow on the right of the screen. Click on it and enable Phone Hub on the resulting screen. It should be the third item down. You can choose what content you want to see in the hub. Make sure to toggle on the bottom option which is called Apps. This feature might be enabled by default.

How to stream chromebook apps 4

Now, on your phone

On your phone, go to your settings and scroll down to the Connected Devices button. Under your Bluetooth devices, tap on the Connection preferences button. Scroll down to the Chromebook button. On the resulting page, you’ll see some toggles that you’ll be able to flip. Make sure that the Apps toggle is enabled. You can also read and enable the other features as you seek fit.

When you enable this option, click on the Phone Hub. It’s the button on the taskbar right next to the date; it’s a little phone icon. On the bottom of the hub, you will see a section at the bottom reading Recent apps. It will show you your five most recently-used apps. To the far right, you’ll see a circle with four app icons in it. This will show you all of the apps you have installed on your phone.

When you click on an app, you might get an error message. The message will tell you that it can’t open the app. It will then tell you to “Turn on ‘Show Lock screen when waking from sleep’ and try again.” Click on the Settings button on the bottom of the notification. It will take you to your Lock screen and sign in settings. When you’re there, enable the top setting.

Just know that this setting will lock the device every time you close it or it enters sleep mode. You’ll need to enter your password or pin every time you open your computer. That could be an inconvenience for you, but it’s required for this to work. After you enable it, you’ll be able to open the apps.

Here’s a tip, if you don’t want to have to enter your password every time your computer goes to sleep, you can enable the Smart Lock feature. This will unlock your Chromebook when you unlock your phone.

After that, you are good to stream your apps to your Chromebook! If you want to know more about ChromOS and Chromebooks, read the official blog.


ChromeOS is fast becoming a more powerful platform. It’s no longer the bloated Google Chrome browser it used to be. It’s grown up, and its latest feature lets you stream apps from your Android phone. Here’s how to stream your apps to your Chromebook.

A feature like this can really come in handy, especially in our connected world. If you’re hard at work, you’d want to avoid having to constantly pick up your phone just to check your notifications and check your messages. It breaks up your workflow and causes an unnecessary distraction. It gets worse when we need to constantly access our phones for our work.

This is where streaming your apps comes in

So, what is this feature? Well, imagine if you could take your entire phone and just plug it into ChromeOS. App streaming isn’t quite that, but it’s pretty close.

This feature allows you to run full apps from your phone directly on your Chromebook. You’re running it directly from your phone, so you don’t need to install that app to your Chromebook or start the app from scratch. If you were using the app on your phone, you can pick up right from where you left off.

App streaming gives you most of the capabilities of the apps you use. There are apps that you can’t use, as they’re blocked by your Chromebook. There are other apps that require you to use pieces of your phone’s hardware. So, don’t expect to make posts using Snapchat.

Other than that, you’re free to use these apps. You can also jump from the first app you’re using to other apps as you need. Say, you open a link in Twitter, and you select to open the link in Chrome. Well, it will open Chrome as well.

When you open an app using the app streaming feature, it will also open on your phone. So, it’s actually open on your phone’s RAM, and it will behave as such. However, when you bring the app to the forefront on your phone, it will stop streaming to your Chromebook. This means that you’re able to pick up right where you left off when switching devices.

How to stream apps to your Chromebook

So, if this sounds interesting to you, then you’d want to give it a shot. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that, as of the time of writing this article (July 2023), the list of compatible devices is pretty limited. However, this limitation only applies to the phone that you’re using.

Limitations

Google is going to expand the compatibility as time goes on, but for the time being, there’s only a handful of phones that can use this feature. You can use it if you’re rocking a Pixel 4a or newer. Also, you can if you have a Xiaomi 12 Pro, 12T Pro, 13, or 13 Pro. So, if you have one of those 11 phones, then you’re good to get this set up.

When it comes to the Chromebook, it’s not as limited. Google didn’t specify any specific model that you needed to have. So, you should be good with most any computer. However, you need to have the most up-to-date version of ChromeOS. At the time of writing this article, we’re on (Version 115.0.5790.131).

Setting it up

Now, in order to set up this feature, there are a few things that you’ll need to set up first. First, make sure that your Chromebook is up to date. Open your settings and scroll all the way down on the left panel until you see the About ChromeOS section. When you click on it, you’ll see a page that will show you the current version your Chromebook is on.

On the right side of the screen, you’ll see a Check for update button. Click on it; if there is an update available, it will update your system, If not, then it will tell you that your computer is up to date.

Next, you’ll want to enable Phone Hub. This is a panel that has information and settings that affect your phone. Go back to your settings and click on the Connected Devices section. There, you’ll see a section called Android phone. Click on the Set up button on the right of the screen.

How to stream chromebook apps 1

When you do, you’ll see a dropdown menu with a list of the devices connected to your Google account. Select the phone that you want to connect. After that, enter your Google account password. Once you enter your password, you’ll get an All done screen that you can exit out of.

Back in the settings, you’ll see your phone with a little arrow on the right of the screen. Click on it and enable Phone Hub on the resulting screen. It should be the third item down. You can choose what content you want to see in the hub. Make sure to toggle on the bottom option which is called Apps. This feature might be enabled by default.

How to stream chromebook apps 4

Now, on your phone

On your phone, go to your settings and scroll down to the Connected Devices button. Under your Bluetooth devices, tap on the Connection preferences button. Scroll down to the Chromebook button. On the resulting page, you’ll see some toggles that you’ll be able to flip. Make sure that the Apps toggle is enabled. You can also read and enable the other features as you seek fit.

When you enable this option, click on the Phone Hub. It’s the button on the taskbar right next to the date; it’s a little phone icon. On the bottom of the hub, you will see a section at the bottom reading Recent apps. It will show you your five most recently-used apps. To the far right, you’ll see a circle with four app icons in it. This will show you all of the apps you have installed on your phone.

When you click on an app, you might get an error message. The message will tell you that it can’t open the app. It will then tell you to “Turn on ‘Show Lock screen when waking from sleep’ and try again.” Click on the Settings button on the bottom of the notification. It will take you to your Lock screen and sign in settings. When you’re there, enable the top setting.

Just know that this setting will lock the device every time you close it or it enters sleep mode. You’ll need to enter your password or pin every time you open your computer. That could be an inconvenience for you, but it’s required for this to work. After you enable it, you’ll be able to open the apps.

Here’s a tip, if you don’t want to have to enter your password every time your computer goes to sleep, you can enable the Smart Lock feature. This will unlock your Chromebook when you unlock your phone.

After that, you are good to stream your apps to your Chromebook! If you want to know more about ChromOS and Chromebooks, read the official blog.

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