The Chrome OS Stable channel received a significant milestone update recently, from 87.0.4280.152 to 88.0.4324.109. As with every big new bump, this brings substantial changes, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to improve your Chrome OS user experience. There are around 19,000 changes total in this release, so there may be a few things we missed. Here is everything new in Chrome OS 88 we've found so far.
Just a week after Chrome 88 launched on desktop and mobile platforms, Google is rolling out Chrome OS 88 to the Stable channel, the first significant update for 2021. Like the former major milestone, the new software update improves Chrome OS with several new features and improvements to enhance the user experience. Here are a few of the things Google announced today that are coming to eligible devices.
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 demand for flatbed scanners and printers has never been higher since the global pandemic brought students and employees home. Although document scanning on a PC operating system is easy thanks to broad software support from manufacturers, Chromebook owners have had to rely on workarounds to digitize their papers on Chrome OS. With the release of the native print jobs app on OS 86, it looks like Google is close to bringing a native scan tool to everyone.
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.
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.