Google Play Services preps to sync Wi-Fi passwords between Android and Chrome OS

This week, those enrolled in the Google Play Services beta received an update to version 20.45, which includes work to sync Wi-Fi passwords between your Android phone to your Chromebook.

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About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Wi-Fi Sync

Back in August, we discovered a new flag coming to Chrome OS that promised to let your Chromebook and Android phone — specifically the phone connected for Smart Lock and Instant Tethering — share Wi-Fi passwords. At the time, we weren’t sure precisely how the passwords would be shared or if only newer versions of Android would be supported.

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It seems that Google Play Services will actually be responsible for syncing the Wi-Fi passwords, meaning older Android devices should be able to take advantage of the sync just as well as newer ones.

<string name=”wifi_sync_enabled_title”>Wi-Fi Sync</string>

<string name=”wifi_sync_enabled_description”>Sync Wi-Fi networks with your Chromebook</string>

It’s too early to say with any confidence, but it seems likely that the Wi-Fi passwords would sync via Bluetooth, meaning connecting to a new network on either your Chromebook or your Android should automatically connect the other device without needing to type in the password again.

Wi-Fi Sync is not the only Chrome OS related feature recently spotted in Google Play Services. The upcoming “Phone Hub” suite of features will enable things like notification mirroring, quick settings adjustments, and “task continuation.”

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