Chrome OS and Android are "Better Together"

This year, Google has been working on ways to bring Android and Chrome OS devices closer together, expanding their “Better Together” initiative. Chrome OS’s latest work-in-progress feature would allow you to sync WiFi passwords between your Android phone and your Chromebook.

In a normal year, when folks would actually travel to and from the office or visit friends, your phone and laptop may connect to a handful of WiFi networks throughout the day. Normally, when you need to connect to another new network, you need to enter the password into your phone, laptop, and every other WiFi-enabled device. Or, even more inconveniently, when you buy a new device, you need to individually reconnect to all of those networks one by one.

Last year, Google began efforts to make this easier by syncing your WiFi passwords between Chromebooks and Chrome OS tablets. This feature would’ve been helpful when switching between devices or in the event you need to powerwash your Chromebook. However, since then, Google has not made the WiFi syncing feature widely available.

Today, Google has begun working on a new version of Chrome OS’s WiFi syncing capabilities, starting with a new flag in chrome://flags.

Sync Wi-Fi network configurations with Android

Enables the option to sync Wi-Fi network configurations between Chrome OS devices and a connected Android phone


Thanks to comments from Chrome OS developers, we get a little bit more clarity on what this flag will do. The most important detail we find is that one developer explicitly says that Chrome OS’s WiFi sync will be able to work “both ways.” That means when you connect to a new WiFi network on your Chromebook, your phone will then sync to also have that network’s password, and vice-versa.

Where the first version of WiFi sync was built around the same system that syncs your bookmarks between places you’ve logged into Chrome, the new cross-platform WiFi sync will be based on Chrome OS’s “Connected Devices” settings, which handles things like Smart Lock and the upcoming Android “Phone Hub.” Simply put, this should mean your WiFi passwords will sync over Bluetooth, rather than over the internet.

As of now, there’s no other code in place to support this feature, meaning the soonest we may see WiFi passwords sync between our Chromebooks and Android phones is Chrome OS 87, due to release in December. Just like the first version of WiFi password syncing though, there’s also a chance this feature may never see the light of day, but here’s hoping.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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