Android 2.2 – otherwise known as Froyo – made quite a splash when Google unveiled it earlier this year.
As well as boosting overall performance and adding in additional functionality, it promised many other cool elements, with one of the least publicised being Chrome to Phone.
As a concept it’s incredibly simple, which is possibly why Google hasn’t done more to champion its existence.
The app allows you to effortlessly push content from your desktop computer to your phone. It’s a two-app process – first you must download the extension for your Chrome browser (or, alternatively, Firefox).
Once you’ve done this you simply download the Chrome to Phone app – both elements are available from the official project site (at the time of writing the phone component is not being distributed on the Android Market, something else which has undoubtedly contributed to its lack of fame).
A quick registration process later and you’re ready to start hurling all manner of web data to your handset.
A small icon appears in the top-right corner of your browser menu and tapping it instantly pushes the page to your phone.
Within seconds the exact same page will flash up on your mobile’s display, allowing you to either continue reading (handy if you’re just about to leave the house) or save the site to your bookmarks for later consultation.
It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that but the clever thing about Chrome to Phone is that it’s context sensitive. For example, if you send a YouTube page to your device it will automatically open up the Android YouTube application rather than force you to watch through the (admittedly excellent) YouTube mobile portal.
Likewise, sending a page from Google Maps will open up the relevant app on your phone, allowing you to plan a complex journey on your PC and then push it to your phone so you can instantly track your progress using Google Navigation.
Chrome to Phone works brilliantly and it’s hard to see any real way it could be improved.
The biggest drawback is that it’s exclusive to Android 2.2 right now and with so many phones stuck on 2.1 or below an awful lot of people are missing out on this brilliant app.
Obviously as more phones get upgraded to Froyo this will become less of a problem, but it’s lamentable that Android’s regrettable fragmentation is effectively freezing out so many potential users.
Compatibility aside, Chrome to Phone is yet another indication of how gloriously inventive Google’s mobile operating system is and will unquestionably prove to be an invaluable piece of software in your mobile life.