As we are on the eve of the Google IO 2022, Android 13 has seen a public beta and includes hints of Google’s own attitude towards Handoff, a feature that first appeared on Apple devices.
Do not touch allows you to continue using the same application while switching between different Apple devices. This could be Safari, a music track, or a podcast, as long as you’re signed in with the same Apple ID. But Continuity allows you to continue using a feature on another Apple device, such as taking a picture and viewing it on your Mac.
While Google allows you to sync your bookmarks and purchases when you sign in to Android or ChromeOS, the same can’t be said when you’re browsing a webpage or in the middle of listening to a Spice Girls song or watching Batman again.
There are hints of what is now called Tap to Transfer in the public beta version of Android 13, but there is no confirmation from Google yet. With that in mind, this is why Handoff should be one of the main features in Android 13, with the ability to expand to other Google devices.
Come on come on
I’ve been an Apple user since I bought a third-generation iPod in 2004. I replaced my computer with one of the first Intel iMacs and imported the first iPhone in 2007.
All this time, I’ve always appreciated the features that allow me to manage my content on all devices without having to make the old-fashioned method of emailing it.
With Continuity and Hand Off, these features allow me to transfer my workflow from my iPhone 13 Pro to my MacBook Pro 14-inch without a problem.
But there are users who only own Google devices – whether they own a Pixelbook or a Pixel 6, or Google Nest and Fitbit. But managing and sending your data and content between these devices is not as easy as Apple’s method at the moment, and in 2022 it’s not good.
It looks like Android 13 will include a feature that eases part of it, tentatively called “TTT” or Tap to Transfer.
From an early version in January, you can send the media you watch or listen to on an Android 13 device to a device that may be nearby.
But it must be much more. Being able to transfer your music from your Pixel 6 to the Chrome web browser should be easier, and you should be able to continue listening to a song on Google Play Music, which is on your OnePlus 10 Pro, on the Pixelbook.
It’s time for Google to realize that ease of use for devices matters. Although his recent efforts with Material You, the reworked themes for Android have been warmly received, there is still a lot of work to be done.
As more products appear (and seem to be on the way, with one being the Pixel Watch), seeing more cohesion between devices will be more important than ever. Giving more control over your content to the devices you own will be appealing to many, and Android 13 seems to be the first sign that Google is aware of this.
It is now a question of whether the same feature will not only appear in the rest of its product line, but also whether the feature is better than what Apple has adopted in the last few years.