It is a well-known fact that Google has a rough history with Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth situation on Chromebooks is improving thanks to recent development, many of us who pair Bluetooth peripherals to our Chromebooks like wireless earbuds or mice will know that the wireless experience isn’t perfect. In 2018, with Bluetooth devices on the rise and the launch of the Pixel Slate looming, Google likely felt pressured to tackle this problem. This led to an experiment with a brand new Bluetooth daemon, in an ambitious project known as NewBlue.
"This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading"
I think you'll agree with me when I say: it's a punch to the gut to start your morning with this dreadful message in your notification tray. You may have spent a lot of money purchasing your Chromebook, and your Chromebook is already telling you that it will not be updated anymore — leaving your device vulnerable to security exploits while missing out on cool new Chrome features. Thanks to an ambitious project known internally as Lacros, your update woes may soon be a thing of the past.
It's no secret that Google loves to add powerful AI into its software whenever it can. The next generation Google Assistant demoed at Google I/O in 2019 is an excellent example of how capable Google's AI can be, and it continuously blows my mind how quick and snappy voice processing is as a result. Google is now using its powerful AI to improve the handwriting experience on Chrome OS.
Chromebook ownership comes with a few great perks, like Android app support, quick and easy cloud storage, and low hardware prices. But there are other benefits Google provides to make getting a Chromebook even more appealing, like free apps, and games. These perks can change over time, and Google is giving Chromebook owners two new games for free: House of Da Vinci and Project High-rise, together a $9 value.
Nvidia's GeForce Now started with the promise of running all your existing PC games in the cloud, but game studios started pullinggames shortly after the service's launch. GeForce Now is slowly addressing complaints from both customers and developers, and one major criticism — finding out which of your Steam games work on GeForce Now — is now much less of a pain.
If you're the type of person who keeps way too many tabs open across multiple browser windows — looking at you, Ryne Hager — a tab search feature would no doubt come in handy. Thankfully, that's exactly what Google has been working on. A functional version of the feature can be found in the latest Chrome OS 86 dev channel build, which suggests it'll be present in the next stable update.
Google is working on a Phone Hub similar to Microsoft Your Phone that will make your handset interact better with your Chromebook, but the company isn't ready to bring the feature to stable just yet. In the latest release of Chrome OS, version 85, the company instead focuses on many little things that make for an overall better experience: Wi-Fi password sync, improved settings search, and a volume slider for your microphone.
The fall semester's starting up, and with many schools opting for remote learning, Chromebooks are hotter than ever. Unfortunately, that means that most are out of stock. If you're fine with a refurbished unit, Woot is offering some higher-end Chromebooks right now for decent prices.
Chromebooks are in hot demand as kids get back to school, and the Samsung Chromebook 4+ is one of the best budget options around. Sure, it doesn't have a high-end CPU, but it's one of the few laptops available for under $300 with a 1080p screen and at least 4GB RAM. Now you can get one for as little as $250.
Google has been offering free perks to Chromebook owners for a while now. These perks have ranged from access to free games to access to streaming services like Disney+ or even Stadia. The latest perk added to the growing list is a free copy of Dead Cells, a fantastic indie metroidvania game that would usually run everyone $8.99 on the Play Store. This perk will be available until August 7th, 2021, providing everyone ample opportunity to grab one of the best platformers available on Chrome OS and Android.