Google has unveiled a new cross-device software development kit (SDK) that it claims will allow Android apps to better interoperate across different types of devices. While Google’s current goal is to force developers to use the new SDK in their apps for cross-communication between Android devices, the next step will be to move to phones, tablets, and other non-Android devices. The cross-device SDK for app developers is currently available with the Developer Preview for Android phones and tablets.
AT Blog post Google explained that its new cross-device SDK will allow apps installed on various types of Android devices to communicate and communicate better using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ultra-broadband. The SDK will allow apps to discover nearby devices, shake hands over secure connections, and share and extend the app’s user interface to other devices.
When implemented by application developers, this would basically allow the user to start a task on one device and seamlessly continue it on another. It’s like continuing to read an e-book on your phone from the same page where you stopped reading it on your tablet. The new SDK will also reduce the need to keep an app running in the background as it also allows one device to share the current app state with the same app on another device.
Another simpler example would be allowing multiple people in a group to order food by simply sharing the order with them in the same app. In this way, group members can simply place an order from their device (tablet, phone, etc.) instead of handing over the phone to everyone physically. The new SDK could also allow users to share certain map locations from their devices with the car’s navigation system, which basically makes the user interface easier to work with.
The cross-platform SDK was announced at Google I/O 2022 in its Development session for multiple devices and was intended to reduce the extra effort needed by developers regarding device discovery, authentication, and connection protocols and help them focus on building better applications instead. The cross-device SDK for app developers is available in the Developer Preview for Android phones and tablets. Google will add other types of Android devices (such as smartwatches, TVs, etc.) and non-Android operating systems (such as iOS or iPadOS) at a later date.
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