There are several additional features and tweaks in Chrome OS 89 that are not yet part of the default experience. They are likely not stable enough for everyone while they're still in development. Google tucked some of these experimental features behind a page — and you can enable them right now. Activate these switches, or "flags," by typing chrome://flags in Chrome’s URL bar and hitting enter. Here is a list of low-risk flags we've tested that we recommend trying out.
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.
Let's face it: the account manager on Chromebooks has needed an overhaul for quite some time. As it is, Chrome OS blurs the line between secondary personal accounts and local users, making it frustrating for the owner to add or manage people on their devices. With more users adding secondary accounts to their Chromebook in light of the global pandemic, many will have lamented the confusing setup process. The developers at Google finally realized that they could make account management a lot less complicated, so they decided to do something about it.
Google regularly introduces new features in Chrome through 'flags,' toggles that are only accessible through the chrome://flags page. Even though the flags page is hidden, Google also sometimes enables experimental features automatically in limited tests, leaving some to wonder what changed. Now it seems Google is working on a more obvious place to try unfinished features.
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.
Google is already pouring tons of resources into helping us stay safe while we surf the web with measures like Safe Browsing for Chrome, and the company only recently introduced an enhanced version of this tool. It's widely available on desktops already, but it's only slowly rolling out on Android. If you want to get your hands on Enhanced Safe Browsing right away, there are two flags that will bring it to you.
Chrome flags are a nice way to try new things in the browser without really breaking anything. A couple of taps and you get new features, a few more taps and you revert them if they don't work for you. A new flag worth trying has appeared in Chrome Canary. It's basic, but handy: It makes sharing web pages a one-click affair.
I'll be the first to admit that I am terrible at closing Chrome tabs on my phone, constantly filling them with things that I can't get to at the moment, but also don't deserve a new bookmark. Because of my poor tab management, I'm regularly greeted by a smiling emoticon in place of any indicator of my current number of open tabs. Thankfully, Chrome for Android appears to be testing a new feature, by way of a new flag, that will periodically suggest users clean out their old, unused tabs.
After a short rollout delay, Chrome 79 is now widely available on desktop and mobile platforms. That means Chrome 80 has moved up to the beta channel, and while there are a few new features, there are far more removed features. Let's dive right in!
Screenshot editing made it into stock Android relatively late as it only recently arrived with Android 9. To make up for this oversight, Google seems to be determined to add isolated solutions to as many of its apps as possible and has already equipped Google Photos and Search with their own markup tools. It looks like Chrome is poised to follow as evidence points to yet another screenshot editor, this time meant for the Android version of the browser.