Have you ever connected an Android phone or tablet to a Chromebook? If so, you know what happens: Pretty much nothing. That’s right; you can’t transfer files between the two Google devices. To get files from an Android device you either need to share them in the cloud, email them or use a computer.
Google is in the process of getting these two platforms to talk together, however. Android Police noticed that the latest Chrome OS beta version adds MTP support, letting you connect an Android device to a Chromebook so you can see and transfer files between them.
MTP has long been used with Android for file transfers; it’s the method used between Android and Windows or Android and Mac OS X, for example. Unfortunately, up to now MTP support wasn’t part of Google’s Chrome OS. If you switch to the beta channel on your Chromebook you can get an early look at the function and start transferring files over USB. Those feeling less adventurous can simply wait for the function to arrive in the stable channel of Chrome OS, which is generally updated every six weeks.
This official update follows another scenario that eliminates the need for a traditional computer when tinkering with Android: Last week, an experimental method to use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) server tool arrived for Chromebooks. With that you can send commands from a Chromebook to a USB-connected Android device for flashing software or modifying features. Between these two new developments, there’s less reason than ever to need a full computer in Google’s world.