Google launched a new feature today that helps users share links and data on the desktop Chrome Web browser with phones using the company’s Android operating system. This “Chrome to Phone” feature will allow users to, for example, send directions to the Android map application and to send phone numbers to their mobile address book.
Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra announced the feature at the Google I/O conference for developers in May, implicitly describing it as a one-up on Apple’s iPhone by saying, “That’s how you do a cloud-to-device API.” Today, Google revealed more details about Chrome to Phone at a press conference in San Francisco (where it also unveiled a feature called Voice Actions) and actually made the browser extension available.
As people perform more tasks in both their browsers and their phones, this kind of integration becomes more important — Mozilla, for example, developed an app for sharing content between its desktop browser and the iPhone. Since Google builds both the browser and the phone (or at least the mobile operating system in the phone) it can also build more interesting integrations than just sharing a link.