Google is building a Chrome remote desktop app, which lets you access other computers or another user access your computer over the Internet, for Android. The new addition, called Chromoting, will likely be pushed as a mobile version of the existing Chrome Remote Desktop offering.

The new utility was first noted by developer and Google open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort. He points to a Chromium code review with the following short but succinct description: “Add the beginnings of a Chromoting Android app.”

Beaufort installed the app but only showed off its icon:

YWQo74o Google is developing a Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android called Chromoting

The reason is likely because the app currently has very few capabilities; so far it can only:

  • Authenticate using a Google account on the phone.
  • Query and display the host list from the Chromoting directory server.
  • Connect to and communicate with the host service over XMPP/ICE.
  • Establish peer-to-peer channels for communicating with the host service.

The developers behind it note the app still can’t display the host’s desktop or handle any kind of input. In other words, this is very much in the prototype or alpha stage.

For those who don’t know, the original Chrome Remote Desktop is an extension for Google’s browser. It was first released as a beta in October 2011 and could be used to control another one of your own computers as well as a friend’s or family member’s (usually to help with IT issues).

When it came out of beta a year later, our own Paul Sawers explained how it worked:

To authorize the connection between the machines, the app generates a code which you must share with the other person. So, for example, if you wish to share your desktop with a tech-savvy friend to fix an on-going issue, you’d send them a 12-digit code that looks roughly like this:
unnamed2 520x325 Google is developing a Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android called Chromoting

We presume Chromoting for Android will be similar, although there will definitely be some limitations due to the mobile platform. You’ll probably enjoy using the app more on a tablet than a phone, although Google will surely try to make it work well with both. We’ll keep you posted as Chromoting’s development continues.

See also – Google brings its Cloud Messaging service to Chrome so apps and extensions can conserve bandwidth, battery life and Chrome 28 arrives with Blink, rich notifications for apps and extensions on Windows; Mac and Linux coming soon

Top Image Credit: shankrad / Flickr