Android is getting a cool feature that sounds a lot like Apple’s Continuity

Android is getting a cool feature that sounds a lot like Apple’s Continuity

You’ll never get to experience one of the best perks of being an iPhone user unless you own additional Apple devices like an Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. You can then enable Continuity features on all of them, which will significantly improve your overall experience. That’s something Google has never really been able to replicate. But that might change soon, as Google is reportedly working on a few continuity-like features for Android.

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Recent findings indicate that you’ll be able to link your Android devices, which will let you transfer calls between them. You’ll also be able to share your internet connection, which might be an easier way to enable a mobile hotspot on one of them.

Apple introduced call continuity back in 2017, letting you receive and make calls from your Mac and iPad as long as they’re connected to your iPhone’s Apple ID.

Your Mac can also remotely activate the iPhone’s Personal Hotspot and get online when there’s no Wi-Fi available.

I routinely use the Instant Hotspot feature on my MacBook, although I must say I turned off call continuity long ago. I just don’t want my Mac to ring at the same time as my iPhone.

Google might offer similar, but not identical, approaches to these solutions. Android developers discovered a new setting that lets you link devices. It’s a toggle you can turn on or off, but your Google account does the actual linking. The presence of that toggle is still useful, as you might not want all your devices to use continuity features.

You may soon be able to “link your [Android] devices” signed into the same Google account together. This will enable “call switching”, which lets you switch between devices for calls, as well as “Internet sharing”!

H/T @Nail_Sadykov

— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 10, 2023

Once you enable the feature, as seen in Mishaal Rahman’s tweet above, you can then enable a call-switching feature. This will presumably let you transfer the call from your phone to your Android tablet. I have no idea if you’ll be able to transfer that call to a Mac or Windows computer via, say, the Chrome browser. But I’d speculate it will let you transfer the call to a Chromebook.

Another option would be transferring the call from one Android phone to another. But that’s also just speculation.

The “internet sharing” feature is the more interesting option. Like the iPhone’s Instant Hotspot, it should make it even easier to get online when you’re out of Wi-Fi coverage. Say you have a Wi-Fi-only Android tablet and a phone linked via the “Link this device” feature. You’ll get on the phone’s 4G/5G connection automatically while you’re on the tablet.

It’s unclear when this feature is coming and whether you’ll need to run Android 14 on every device. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to wait for the example above to work. Unlike Apple, Google can’t push Android updates to every phone and tablet.

Then again, Google might simply add the feature to older phones and tablets. Google could push a Google Play Services update to enable the continuity feature on a variety of devices. And I hope that’s what Google does.

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