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Chrome OS

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[Update: Live] What's new with Chrome OS? Post-update release notes may start filling you in on changes

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.

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79

Watch Bill Nye become the Chromebook Guy in this Google ad

Bill Nye (former Science Guy, current... science... guy) is back in the media with guest appearances on TV shows and his very own call-in and talk podcast on... what else? Science. And he's also giving some back-to-school tips for youngsters looking to pick up a new computer this summer: get a Chromebook instead.

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6

Chrome may soon add native clipboard sharing

One of Chrome's signature features is the option to sync your complete browsing experience across all devices you own. There are just a couple of notable exceptions from this synchronization though, including the option to access the same clipboard across multiple devices, which would allow you to copy and paste information from one computer to another (or to a phone). While some extensions can provide this ability, sharing everything you type with a browser add-on comes with inherent security risks. As such, Google appears to be working on native clipboard sharing capability, although we don't have a lot of details yet.

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63

Pixel Slate gets its best discount yet of $250 off ($549 and up) through August 18

When we reviewed the Celeron-powered Pixel Slate late last year, we found it to be a giant identity crisis that made it not so good as either a laptop or a tablet. Well, if you do appreciate whatever form factor Google was trying to go for there and are happy to play with better specs to avoid much of the sluggishness that was reported on the poor 'ol entry-level model, you can get a Slate for $250 off for a limited time.

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5

Chromebook Linux bug causing reboots when resuming from sleep, though a fix is coming

Being able to run Linux applications on Chromebooks isn't just useful for developers, it can help plug what little remaining app or feature gap prevents you from using the platform. Unfortunately for those that do use it, some folks have been experiencing a problem where their devices spontaneously reboot during sleep if Linux containers are running, and it isn't clear if it will be fixed in time for the next Chrome OS release.

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6

Cross-platform Bluetooth device sync arrives in Chrome OS Beta channel

Last year, Google announced a series of improvements coming to Fast Pair, a component of Google Play Services that detects nearby Bluetooth devices and pairs them automatically. One of the promised features was the ability to sync connected devices across multiple devices, whether they were Android phones or Chromebooks. At long last, Chrome OS integration appears to finally be going live, at least in the beta channel.

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11

Chrome OS might get a touchpad gesture to move between virtual desktops

Back in 2018, Google told us that it was planning on adding support for virtual desktops to Chrome OS, and following some teasing, we finally got them under the name "Virtual Desks." The only real issue with Google's implementation was with navigation: you had to enter the "Overview" mode then manually click around the list of desktops like some kind of laptop-wielding neanderthal. Thankfully, a recently spotted comment on the Chromium bug tracker (noticed by Chrome Unboxed) indicates we'll eventually get a "4-finger swipe and lift" gesture that should make using Virtual Desks much easier.

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0

Google is increasing Chrome security bug bounty rewards

Google has several different vulnerability rewards programs tied to different products, and it pays out huge sums each year to researchers find these security bugs. This, in turn, protects users from data theft and other nefarious activity, so it's good to see that Google is increasing the bounties for its Chrome Vulnerability Rewards Program.

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8

Chrome OS may be picking up Chromecast's ambient mode screensavers

If you leave your Chromebook idle for a few minutes, it'll go to sleep. That's a sensible thing for it to do, but if you've always wished for a screensaver, your prayers may soon be answered: a recent Chromium commit shows that Chrome OS could pick up a Chromecast-style ambient mode.

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