Google has introduced a new cross-device software development kit (SDK), which it claims will allow Android apps to communicate better between different device types. While Google's current aim is to get developers into adopting the new SDK in their apps for cross-communication between Android devices, the next step is to move to non-Android phones, tablets, and more. The cross-device SDK for app developers is currently available along with a Developer Preview for Android phones and tablets.
In a blog post Google explained that its new cross-device SDK will let apps installed on different types of Android devices talk and communicate better by using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ultra-wideband. The SDK would let apps discover nearby devices, hand-shake with secure connections, and transfer and extend an application's user experience to other devices.
When implemented by app developers, this would basically let a user start a task on one device and seamlessly continue on another. Like continuing to read an ebook on your phone at the very page you stopped reading it on your tablet. The new SDK would also reduce the need to keep an app running in the background as it also lets one device share an app's current state with the same app on another device.
Another simpler example would be letting multiple people on a group order food by just sharing the order with them on the same app. So those in the group can simply place their order from their device (tablet, phone etc.) instead of needing to pass on a phone to everyone physically. The new SDK could also let users share specific map locations from their devices with a vehicle's navigation system, basically making the UI experience seamless.
The cross-platform SDK was announced at Google I/O 2022 in its Multi-device development session and was meant to reduce the additional effort needed by developers with regards to device discovery, authentication, and connection protocols and help them focus on building better app experiences instead. The cross-device SDK for app developers is available with a Developer Preview for Android phones and tablets. Google will add other types of Android devices(like smartwatches, TVs etc.) and non-Android OSs (like iOS or iPadOS) later.
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