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Chrome OS

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Chrome OS 75 improves Linux apps, brings Android cloud storage to Files app, and more

Chrome and Chrome OS are very intertwined, but it usually takes a while for the operating system to get updated to match the browser. Chrome 75 was released at the start of this month, and now as June is about to end, Chrome OS 75 is starting to roll out.

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23

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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11

Chrome OS will soon show cloud storage apps natively in Files — but no Dropbox

Fans of third-party cloud storage providers will be excited when Chrome OS 75 finally reaches the Stable Channel. The update will deliver an optional flag which enables storage services other than Drive to finally integrate into the Files app in Chrome OS via Android apps — though not all third-party storage solutions are compatible.

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179

[Update: Confirmation] Report: Google gives up on making its own tablets

According to a recently-published report by Computerworld, Google is "officially done" making tablets. This follows in the wake of last year's poorly-received Chrome OS-powered Pixel Slate, and subsequent rumors of downsizing the hardware division responsible. This will not affect the division responsible for the Pixel phones, and Google still apparently has plans for future laptop-style devices.

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68

Diminishing differentiation: Are all our gadgets making each other redundant?

There sure are a lot of gadgets around. Consumers today own laptops, desktops, tablets, televisions, e-readers, smartphones, smartwatches, smart speakers, smart displays, smart TVs, and smart everything-elses in myriad combinations. If you’re economically fortunate enough, you might own at least one of each of these categories of products, and for some categories, probably more than one.

As much as I delight in this abundance of gadgetry, sometimes I take a step back and think, isn’t this a bit much? Not because of some penchant for minimalism or an anti-consumerist attitude, but because of all the overlap. So many of these devices do the same things.

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23

[Update: Now in Dev Channel] Virtual desktops (finally) arrive in Chrome OS via Canary Channel

"Virtual Desks," which is Google's name for the more generic term "virtual desktops" (or the greatest thing ever) have been spotted in Chrome OS 77 in the current Canary Channel. We previously anticipated their arrival to the platform when a Chromium Gerrit commit indicated it would be coming eventually, but now it's actually here and working as of the latest Canary builds. Our friend Kevin Tofel over at About Chromebooks spotted the feature when it hit, and put together a good video demonstrating it live on real hardware:

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12

Chromebook volume buttons will finally match device screen orientation

One annoying quirk with 2-in-1 Chromebooks (and Chrome OS tablets) has been with how volume controls work. The volume up/down buttons always stay in the same position, even if you flip the device around for example, when I used to have my Asus C302 in tablet mode, pressing where the volume up button should be actually turned the sound level down. Thankfully, this papercut is close to going away forever.

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19

Google may be working on Handoff-style call, clipboard, and Wi-Fi password sharing between Android and Chrome OS

We've all faced a similar situation: You're looking up some restaurants online, you find a nice one and want to call them up to make a reservation. Unfortunately, you end up dialing a wrong number and have to try again. Wouldn't it have been much easier if you could just click that number to call it from your phone?

It's already possible if you own Apple devices, but, surprisingly, Google's Android and Chrome OS don't communicate so seamlessly with each other. Nevertheless, this is about to change as the company may allow both operating systems to share clipboard, phone numbers, and Wi-Fi credentials with each other.

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14

Chrome OS 76 fixes the biggest problem with notifications on Chromebooks: the 'clear all' button

Chrome OS has come a long way from the days of the CR-48, but it still has a few basic usability problems, and among them is notification management. Chromebooks can show Android app and native notifications together, but clearing those notifications is a pain since the button is hidden. According to Kevin Tofel over at About Chromebooks, the button is now visible at the top of the notification area in the current Chrome OS 76 Canary builds.

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104

Google just killed our dreams of dual-booting Windows on Chromebooks

Any sliver of hope Chromebook owners had for being able to dual-boot into Chrome OS and Windows has, well, flown out the window. The initiative behind this feature, dubbed "Alt OS" in the Chromium Gerrit, has been deprecated according to a recent commit.

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