Google's Chrome OS usually sees a "major" Stable Channel update about every six weeks, but if you don't follow the news at places like our site, you might have trouble knowing what is new or changed in the latest version when it hits. That gives new features in Chrome OS like the upcoming Virtual Desks a bit of a discoverability problem, but according to a recently spotted commit on the Chromium Gerrit, new "Release Notes" may appear following future updates to Chrome OS, illuminating the changes delivered with new versions.
The description attached to the commit is as follows:
Release Notes for CrOS.
Notifies user on login about release notes after their machine is updated.
Clicking on notification or field in About Page launches the release notes PWA.
Feature can be enabled/disabled by setting the kReleaseNotes flag in chromeos_features.cc.
Info is decidedly vague at this point. While we know that a notification for a presumably new "Release Notes" PWA (Progressive Web App, for the unfamiliar) will appear when logging in after an update, we don't know if the PWA will be a genuinely new and descriptive set of changes for the end-consumer, or merely a shortcut to the Chrome Release Blog entry for that update. (Hopefully, it's the former, and Google is going to bring a nice user-friendly list with accompanying visuals, though there's no way to know. Trust Google to decide that a bulleted list or developer-optimized changelog sufficient.)
When the feature is integrated, it will be controlled by a "kReleaseNotes" flag in Chrome OS, and there's no timeline for when this might land in Stable Channel, since it doesn't appear to have been merged in just yet. However these new Release Notes manifest, we could be in for quite a wait.
The Release Notes PWA will also be accessible via the About page. It isn't clear if the Release Notes and the attached notification will appear/be present for every release of every channel — Canary gets almost daily updates, so that isn't really feasible, and both Beta/Dev Channel occasionally see features taken away or postponed to later releases before they hit Stable.
Google's changelog page for Chromebook updates is now live. You can find it here and see the most important changes included in the latest release of Chrome OS.
- Chromium Gerrit
- Chrome Story