It's no secret that Chrome OS has become way more capable over the years, maturing far beyond a simple browser-platform. It shows Google is serious about making Chromebooks an appealing choice for everyone, supporting Android apps and even powerful Linux tools to sweeten the platform's appeal. With official support for Steam around the corner, Chrome OS is even closer to becoming a viable choice for hardcore gamers — and an upcoming addition levels-up the gaming experience even further.
Chrome OS has been steadily growing up over the years, with Linux and Android app support helping it to stray from its "just a browser" roots. Thanks to powerful multitasking features like virtual desks and window snapping, Google's operating system is a solid productivity choice for consumers and many professionals. To help you work even faster, Chrome OS will soon pick up a classic productivity feature that will give your Chromebook the old-school coolness you never thought you needed.
It's been many months since we covered Projector for Chromebooks — an upcoming presentation tool for students and educators. Google has since been working behind the scenes to finish up this new feature for Chromebooks, and thanks to a recent update, we have a near-finalized look at how it plans to amp up online presentations.
It's been several months since Google announced its new name for the Launcher — or Search key — on Chromebooks, rebranding it to the Everything Button. For those unfamiliar, this button replaces the Caps lock key found on traditional keyboards — tapping it will open the app drawer instead. A Googler writes that the key enables you to search for apps, find files, search online, and more, all in one place. It looks like the company is doubling down on the "Everything" moniker, as it's about to remap a handful of system shortcuts to it.
The virtual keyboard on Chrome OS has been a sore point for many Chromebook tablet owners. Ranging from unreliable autocorrect to buggy input, the typing experience on it is still pretty lackluster to this day. Last year, it did at least receive improved handwriting recognition, a major UI facelift, and an option to change its size. Now, Google is getting ready to integrate one of our favorite Chrome OS 89 features.
It's no secret that emoji play an integral part in today's daily communication. From a user experience point of view, emoji pictographs make up a universally recognized language that adds emotional nuance to conversations. They've been integrated throughout our digital lives, and in 2018, Chrome gained a shortcut to quickly insert them on the desktop. It poses a problem for Chrome OS users, though — clicking on the context menu launches the on-screen keyboard, which is clunky and unintuitive with a mouse. However, that's changing soon as Google is working on a dedicated emoji picker for Chrome OS.
Chromebooks have an incredibly barebones video player interface that hasn't changed much over the years. It looks like Google finally wants to change that. The company is testing a much prettier video player in Canary, complete with enhanced, floating controls.
Live Caption was one of the highlight feature of Android 10 when Google unveiled it at Google I/O 2019. Its ability to generate accurate real-time captions regardless of audio source continues to blow us away — and it works offline, too. Google's Pixel phones were the first to get it, then it followed by expansion to other Android smartphones. Google announced yesterday that Live Caption is available to everyone using Chrome, and with some digging in the Chromium Gerrit, it looks like Chromebooks won't have to wait much longer to get it.
The camera app on Chrome OS has remained largely unchanged since Google first brought Chromebooks to the market in 2011. Although handy in a pinch, its stagnant development is obvious by the lack of useful features. It received video recording only three years ago and recently got a native QR code scanner. While it has improved over the years, its implementation feels too basic to be especially practical. That may soon change, as Google is working to deliver advanced controls to the camera app on Chrome OS.
USB has come a long way since Apple made the I/O mainstream with its iMac in September 1998. The technology rapidly replaced a wide range of aging connectors on PCs and became the universal standard for wired data and power transfers. With USB4's versatility opening the door to broad external PCI adoption, Google is working to protect your Chromebook from unauthorized access to your data.