How to use the Chrome OS Phone Hub with your Android handset

A smartphone and a laptop – many of us have these two devices in our lives. If it’s an Android phone and a Chromebook, they can work together thanks to the Phone Hub feature. We show you how it works.

The “Phone Hub” function was introduced in Chrome OS 89. It allows you to switch seamlessly between your phone and laptop. This includes synced notifications and having control of certain things on your phone from your Chromebook.

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First, you need to connect your Android phone to your Chromebook through the computer’s settings menu. To do this, click the clock on your Chromebook’s navigation bar (known as the “Shelf”) to bring up the quick settings panel. Select the gear icon to open the settings.

Go to the “Connected Devices” tab in the Settings menu in the sidebar.

connected devices in the settings

“Android phone” is listed here. Click the Setup button to start the process.

Set up your Android phone

A new window will open with a drop-down menu listing the active Android devices associated with your Google account. Select the one you want to use and click “Accept and Continue”.

Select a device and continue

Enter Password your Google account and click “Done”.

Enter account password

If your devices communicate and authenticate correctly, the two will be connected. Click Done to return to your Chromebook’s settings menu.

click done

Your phone’s name will now be listed in the Connected Devices section. Select it to continue.

Select the connected phone

Here are all the settings related to your connected Android device. First make sure that “Phone Hub” is switched on.

Switch on the telephone hub

Under “Phone Hub” there are two switches for additional functions. Check the ones you want to use.

  • Notifications: Notifications from “Chat apps” on your connected device will appear on the Chromebook.
  • Youngest Chrome Tabs: When you use Chrome On your Android device, your most recent tabs will be displayed in the hub.

Phone hub settings

When the above steps are complete, you will see a phone icon on the shelf of your Chromebook. Click on it to open the phone hub.

open the phone hub

There are a couple of things in the Phone Hub, so let’s break it down. Starting at the top, you’ll see the name of your Android device, its signal strength, and its battery level. The gear icon takes you straight to the settings we looked at earlier.

top section of the phone hub

The middle section has some action buttons that you can use to control your connected Android device.

  • Activate hotspot: If your phone supports this and you’ve turned on instant tethering on your Chromebook, the computer will connect to your phone’s internet.
  • Silent phone: Mutes the ringtone and notification sound on your Android device.
  • Locate phone: Makes your phone ring loudly so you can find it easily.

Middle buttons of the telephone hub

Finally, the bottom section shows the two most recently opened tabs you clicked on in Google Chrome Browser on your Android device. Just select one to open the page on your Chromebook.

Undersides of the phone hub

That’s all there is to it! You get notifications from your Android device on your Chromebook and all of these tools are just a click away. Hopefully, the Phone Hub will help you reduce the hassle of picking up your phone while using your Chromebook.

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