Are you tired of looking at your old boring wallpaper? Google has recently published new collections of wallpapers for Chrome OS, and you can download them right now — even if you don't own a Chromebook.
There are several additional features and tweaks in Chrome OS 90 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.
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.
It's been two years since the Android system on Chromebooks received a major update. While Android 9 Pie introduced a slew of improvements, growing pains (like app scaling) have continued to make the experience quite frustrating. Google has since been hard at work fixing its issues and reworking the Android system with its ARCVM. The wait may finally be over, as a shiny new Android 11 build powered by ARCVM is slowly rolling out to Chrome OS Beta.
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.
It’s no secret that Chrome OS has been improving over the lastseveralmonths. With skyrocketing sales contributing to increased polish into Google’s operating system, 2021 is shaping to be a good year for Chromebooks — and Chromeboxes, too. CTL’s CBx2 impressed us when we reviewed it, nailing the basics down at a reasonable price. That’s not the only new Chromebox in town. Asus has an updated Chromebox 4 hitting the market, offering a wicked-fast processor, ample storage, and killer networking performance. It’s a great follow-up to the popular Chromebox 3 for anyone who needs a powerful Chrome OS desktop for business and personal use.
It's been around a year since the global pandemic forced students across the country to shift to distance learning and online presentations in a virtual setting. With schools rapidly adopting Chromebooks thanks to Google's attractive platform, the developers at Google are working on native tools for Chrome OS to help students and teachers amp up their online presentations.
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.
The system tray has been an integral aspect of the desktop experience since Windows 95, holding app icons and system information useful to the user. While the Chrome OS tray is tidier than Windows', a few areas are perhaps too simplistic. For years, many Chrome OS users have been requesting the ability to show the date next to the clock. It looks like Google is finally listening to feedback, as new code confirms changes coming to the Chrome OS system tray.
Getting all your devices logged in on a new Wi-Fi network can be a hassle: entering the same password again and again, hoping you don't make any mistakes. Google started experimenting with ways to simplify this process last year when Chrome OS Canary began syncing Wi-Fi passwords with other devices. That feature never rolled out widely, leaving us to wonder if its development had stalled. Thankfully that wasn't the case, and now Google is working on a new and improved Wi-Fi syncing solution for Chrome OS that's actually starting to roll out to the first few people.