Google is renaming that keyboard button on Chromebooks that lives just above the left shift and below tab. And nope, it's not "caps lock." On Chromebooks, it was previously called the Search or Launcher button, but now Google is rebranding it as the Everything Button and changing other shortcuts to make better use of it.
It's been a rough week for most Chromebooks following Google's ill-fated attempt to roll Chrome OS 86 out to the stable channel. Shortly after Google announced the major milestone update, I covered a slew of new features and improvement found within, including accessibility improvements, an improved login screen experience, and a refreshed gallery app. Although some people are enjoying OS 86 without problems, others are still anxiously waiting for the new update to land on their Chromebook. In a surprising move by Google, it silently pulled the build off the update server a couple of days before the update finished rolling out.
HP produces a lot of different Chromebooks, most of which have long and confusing model names. This time around, the company is discounting one of its higher-end 14-inch 2-in-1 models to just $449.00, a savings of $180 over the original price.
Dark mode has been a popular feature request among Chrome OS users for a long time. Although the OS uses a "light" theme by default, it has some random splashes of dark elements, including the launcher and the shelf. Last month, I explained in detail how bringing consistency to the current "light" theme would improve usability, but at the time, there was no information about when a true, system-wide dark mode would ship. Sure, the launcher search bar got a bit darker recently, but what people want is to turn off the lights and minimize eye strain when using their computers over extended periods.
Browsers are complicated pieces of software, and each release of Chrome includes fixes to address security flaws discovered both inside and outside of Google. However, there are sometimes security flaws that are frequently exploited before fixes can be widely rolled out, which has just happened with Chrome and Chrome OS.
Chrome OS might not be the best operating system for hardcore gamers, but most Chromebooks are powerful enough to play some popular games — especially when you add cloud game streaming like GeForce NOW to the mix. Nvidia launched the service in beta earlier this year, and now Chromebook users can get three months for free — with a small catch.
Hot on the heels of its competitor CrossOver, Parallels has announced that its Windows virtualization service is now available on Chrome OS for Enterprise, allowing businesses to run a full Windows emulation right on their Chromebooks. This follows months and years of preparation work, with initial teasers landing in June and August.
Chrome OS Stable channel got a major milestone update yesterday, from 85.0.4183.133 to 86.0.4240.77. As with every new milestone update, this brings massive new changes to the table, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to improve your Chrome OS user experience. Due to the sheer size of this update, there may be a few things we missed, but here is everything new we found in Chrome OS 86.
Chromebooks differ from regular PCs in many ways, but perhaps the most important distinction is that they have fixed lifetimes. Unlike traditional PCs, where you can keep updating the operating system until the hardware fails or becomes too ancient, Chromebooks use Google-made hardware platforms that are only guaranteed updates for a handful of years. Google has been gradually extending the support life for new Chromebooks, and now we're seeing the first models with nine years of guaranteed OS support.
Following last week's release of Chrome 86 on desktop and mobile platforms, Google is now rolling out Chrome OS 86 to eligible Chromebooks. Like the past major updates, Chrome OS 86 offers several new features and improvements to ensure you continue to have a reliable, productive, and comfortable experience on your Chromebook. Here are a few things Google announced today that are coming to your Chromebook.