Nextbit, a company founded by two former Google employees previously working on Android, has announced a new service that provides the ability to pass an open mobile application to another Android device. Likely playing off the phrase ‘passing the baton’ that’s popular in track and field, the “Baton” service is designed to work with any Android application. For instance, if you were playing Angry Birds on your Android smartphone and wanted to switch to your tablet, a couple taps will open Angry Birds on your tablet picking up in the exact same level that you were playing on the smartphone.
Speaking about the need for the functionality, Nextbit CEO Tom Moss said “Whether I’m reading an article, playing a game, or buying something online, everything comes to a halt if I want to switch devices. Until now, there hasn’t been a good way to pick up a tablet at the same place you left off on your smartphone. Our mobile activities shouldn’t just be available on a per device basis. That’s why Nextbit is building a future that focuses on the experiences, not the device.” It sounds very similar to Handoff for iOS.
While streaming video companies like Netflix and Hulu have done an excellent job of providing this functionality after launching the app on a new device, this service would be a superior experience as there’s no need to hunt down the app, launch it and look for the prompt. This application would also be useful when working on documents on mobile devices during a commute and being able to fluidly switch to a larger device when arriving at work.
In addition to the passing service, Baton also provides a syncing function that syncs all applications and data between multiple devices owned by the same person. There’s also a backup function that saves all app information to the cloud in order to restore any device. At the moment, the service is in a private beta exclusive to CyanogenMod as well as three mobile devices, the Nexus 5, the Nexus 7 and the OnePlus One.