We exclusively reported that Google is working on bringing official Steam support to Chromebooks back in 2020. Parallel to developing a new Linux container better suited for games, the company is now additionally experimenting with a new "Game Mode" that could bring some further performance to the upcoming Linux container.
It's been a couple of years since the Chrome OS UI got any considerable design updates, some of which were polarizing changes that stirred controversy in the Chromebook community. Google has since been steadily updating its core apps and system UI to a more modern Material Design style, including the new Media app and tablet mode experience that rolled out in the Chrome OS Stable channel this year. If there's one component that still feels out of place, it's the login and lock screen—more specifically, the password field. That's changing soon, though, as Google is experimenting with a refreshed text field to make it look more consistent with other system UI elements.
Live Caption was one of the highlight feature of Android 10 when Google unveiled it at Google I/O 2019. Its ability to generate accurate real-time captions regardless of audio source continues to blow us away — and it works offline, too. Google's Pixel phones were the first to get it, then it followed by expansion to other Android smartphones. Google announced yesterday that Live Caption is available to everyone using Chrome, and with some digging in the Chromium Gerrit, it looks like Chromebooks won't have to wait much longer to get it.
It's been two years since the Android system on Chromebooks received a major update. While Android 9 Pie introduced a slew of improvements, growing pains (like app scaling) have continued to make the experience quite frustrating. Google has since been hard at work fixing its issues and reworking the Android system with its ARCVM. The wait may finally be over, as a shiny new Android 11 build powered by ARCVM is slowly rolling out to Chrome OS Beta.
On Chrome OS, the browser and the operating system are deeply intertwined. Google can't update one component without the other, making development a hassle. The company is looking to change that by introducing a decoupled version of Chrome (dubbed "Lacros"), which could simplify processes for developers and might even extend Chromebooks' lives. New evidence suggests that Google is inching closer to publicly testing Lacros.
The camera app on Chrome OS has remained largely unchanged since Google first brought Chromebooks to the market in 2011. Although handy in a pinch, its stagnant development is obvious by the lack of useful features. It received video recording only three years ago and recently got a native QR code scanner. While it has improved over the years, its implementation feels too basic to be especially practical. That may soon change, as Google is working to deliver advanced controls to the camera app on Chrome OS.
Android's open-source nature makes it difficult for phones from different OEMs to play well with each other unless Google steps in and makes changes to Android or GMS (Google Mobile Services). This is exactly what happened in the case of Nearby Share, which allows easier sharing of files between different Android devices. While we wouldn't go as far as to say it works just as well Apple's AirDrop, Nearby Share v2.0 is getting a bunch of improvements that could help close the gap.
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.
It's Chrome OS's 10th birthday today, and Google announced a slew of cool new Chrome OS 89 features to celebrate. The milestone update improves Chromebooks with several changes to enhance the user experience. Here are a handful of Chrome OS features Google announced today that are coming to eligible devices.
For around a decade, Chromebooks lacked the cross-device synergy found on rival platforms. Sharing files between your Google devices is nowhere fluid like Apple's iPhone-Mac integration. Phone Hub tightens your phone and Chromebook closer, but it's still a hassle to share content. Now, Google announced Nearby Share for Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's AirDrop. While Google says Nearby Share is launching "in the coming months," you can start using it right now in Chrome OS 89.