About a month ago users on the Chromium repository led a very polite revolt against tab groups in Chrome for Android, declaring that they much preferred the option to simply open a selected link in a new tab directly. A little yellow bird told us that Google has listened to those users, and "Open in new tab" is coming back.
There's no question that Chrome OS does (mostly) everything these days, from productivity to entertainment. One of several aspects we've grown to love is its focus on usability, and we think Tote (formally Holding Space) is a brilliant feature that can take your productivity to the next level. Google is planning on supercharging Tote even further with a fresh update we're sure most would find handy.
Dark mode has been soaring in popularity as a design trend over the last several years, and for good reason — it minimizes eye strain when using computers over extended periods (Editor's note: It also looks slick AF). With major platforms like macOS, Windows, and Android offering darker shades, it became clear Chrome OS had to catch up with the pack. Dark mode is still in ongoing development despite work on it dating back almost a year now, and it looks unfinished — even today. But Google hasn't thrown in the towel here, and it's now adding another highly requested feature to make dark mode even better.
Back in February, a new version of Chrome changed the way that users activate a custom search engine in the Omnibox: instead of indicating the engine and beginning your search string with a tap of the space bar, you had to press tab instead. Long story short, everybody hated it, so Google reverted the change and tried something else. Well, the tab-to-search functionality is back ... but don't worry, it's buried deep in Chrome's Flags menu.
If you love to live on the bleeding edge of software releases, and also prefer Microsoft's flavor of Chromium browsers to Google's, then I have good news for you. The Canary build of Edge is now available on the Play Store, the better for the big M to test out its newest features on a wider subset of users. Go grab it now if you're so inclined.
If you're using the Canary version of Chrome, you might have noticed the reading list icon hanging out on the right side of the bookmarks bar, just under your profile pic and the main settings button. This is a new feature as of Chrome 89, hidden by default in the standard release but available via a flag, and enabled by default in Chrome 91 Canary. What's also present in that build, and which wasn't before, is the ability to hide it with a quick right-click.
Google tries out a lot of tweaks on its early Chrome browser and Chrome OS builds, though most of it isn't immediately user-facing. In the Chrome 91 build some of those changes will be more obvious thanks to the Experiments menu, previously called Labs. You can find it by clicking the beaker icon that's now next to your user icon in the menu bar, and it's now enabled by default on Canary.
Let's be honest: searching for a decent screen recorder for your Chromebook sucks. Most "free" screen capture software found online requires you to pay an expensive subscription to unlock essential features, like unlimited and high-resolution video recordings. Although a video capture card will give you full control, like the ability to record using your Chromebook's native resolution, not everyone wants to invest in a costly desktop computer. The developers at Google seem to have realized that people don't want to pay a subscription to get decent screen recordings, so they finally decided to add a native solution to Chrome OS.
The unthinkable happened: You just deleted the wrong file by accident, and it happened to be a school essay that you spent days working on. If you didn't save a backup of the document on your Chromebook, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to get that file back. With Windows, the Recycle Bin gives us a second chance to restore a file or folder you deleted from the file manager, but with a Chromebook, the files are permanently erased from your device. It sure looks like the developers at Google have become sympathetic to us accidental-deleters, and are working on a way to bring back recently deleted files.
We all know how annoying it is when your internet connection suddenly drops out. While PC operating systems have built-in diagnostic features to help frustrated users get back online, Chromebook owners have had to download and install the Chrome Connectivity Diagnostics app manually. With the clock ticking on Chrome apps, it looks like Google's trying once again to bring user-friendly network diagnostics to Chromebooks, in the form of a new native tool.