How to control your Android smartphone with Chrome

Controlling your smartphone with your computer has never been easy. Developers have been using the SDK and other complicated solutions, but it would be very complicated for many of us to understand even half the codes and commands needed for that. This is why Google is now trying to streamline Android screencasting by allowing Chrome to take control of your phone.

This is the easiest solution we have seen, second only to the LG G2’s smartphone control software. All you need to do is flip some switches one Chrome and tap a few buttons on your smartphone. Right now it is working vie Experimental DevTools, meaning it is not really a feature available for Chrome Stable Release users. You should have Chrome Beta, Canary, or the like.

Here are the instructions

  • Enable chrome://flags/#enable-devtools-experiments and chrome://flags/#remote-debugging-raw-usb flags (depending on your Chrome version, you might only need to do the first one).
  • Go to chrome://inspect and plug in your Android phone (with USB Debugging on).
  • Open Chrome Beta on your Android smartphone and visit any website.
  • On chrome://inspect, check the “Discover USB Devices” box.
  • On your computer, open the DevTools, click on the Gear icon in the bottom-right corner. On “Experiments”, check “Enable screencast” and close the DevTools.
  • Finally, click on the “Inspect” link and click on the brand new “Screencast” icon in the bottom left corner to enable it.

After that, you will be able to control your phone’s browser straight from Chrome. You can scroll, click, tap and access any website. Make sure you keep your screen on, as this feature doesn’t work if the display goes off. Only the browser is allowed to be controlled right now, but this is still an experimental feature. It should evolve and grow in due time.

Give it a go and let us know what you think! I am excited to see where this feature is taken. And here is Beaufort’s demo, if you want to check that one out as well.

[via Fran├žois Beaufort]