A week ago was Chrome OS's birthday, marking ten years of Google's operating system. To celebrate, Google jam-packed a load of features in version 89 to supercharge your Chromebook. There's a ton to break down in the new update, but we want to talk about three highlights we loved using that you might not know about.
Screenshots automatically copied to the clipboard
It's such a small change that you may not have noticed it, but it's incredibly useful. When you take a screenshot on Chrome OS 89, you'll notice a little toast in the notification that says "Copied to clipboard." That's right, screenshots are now automatically copied to your clipboard as soon as you take them, which makes it easy to paste them into a chat, an email, a document, an image editing tool, Twitter, and so on. You could already add screenshots straight to the clipboard previously, but you had to tap/click an extra button in the notification to do that. That button has been replaced with quick options to edit and delete, which is more handy.
The automatic copy feature comes as part of the revamped screen capturing experience that simplifies the whole process of selecting the exact area of the screen you want to capture. The new tool also has a native screen recorder integrated.
Pin your files to the taskbar with Tote
I find it incredibly annoying that you can't litter your desktop with relevant files on Chrome OS, but Google has introduced a new feature that might be even better than that: Tote. You may have noticed the new area filled with thumbnails next to the status bar in your taskbar, and when you tap it, a collection of recent downloads and screen captures is revealed. But there's more to this space. You can pin files in your file manager to it by right-clicking them and selecting Pin to shelf, giving you easy access to often needed or currently relevant files without searching through your storage. This also works for stuff stored on Google Drive.
Enhanced clipboard with history
There's another improvement revolving around clipboards that could enhance your workflow. Chrome OS now automatically saves the last five items you copied to your clipboard for later use. You can access them with Search + v or by right-clicking and selecting Clipboard from the menu. The clipboard retains rich formatting and images, making it easy to paste text and pictures in the form they were meant to. And if you do need to paste plain text, you can just select the item in question with your arrow keys and hit Shift + Enter instead of just Enter.
Google took quite some time to perfect this feature — it was first spotted back in June 2020 and gradually grew more fully featured. I personally would love to have access to more than only five items, but I can see how that could become overwhelming easily without a way to search through items.
These are just a few highlights you should absolutely use to supercharge your productivity. But there's a lot more to Chrome OS 89 — be sure to read our full roundup of everything new and noteworthy.
Kent Duke contributed to this post.