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.
CES 2021 has come and gone, and with it came a slew of announcements showcasing cool and wacky gadgets like LG's Rollable smartphone and Chamberlain's $3,000 smart pet door, coming later this year. Typically, not many Chromebooks are announced at the event as they are a niche product in a broad spectrum of laptops, and this year was no exception. But here, we've compiled a list of all the new Chromebooks announced at CES 2021 for your convenience, so let's jump right in.
Are you tired of looking at your old boring wallpaper? Google recently published four new collections of wallpapers to Chrome OS, and in my opinion: they're stunning. You can download them right now — even if you don't own a Chromebook.
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.
QR codes may have been around since the mid-1990s, but they have become more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic—you'll find them on mobile orders, Instagram, and even in Android's Wi-Fi settings. While those boxy, square designs may seem like gibberish at a glance, they offer a wide range of contactless convenience in our socially distant times. With this in mind, it was only a matter of time until compatible scanners started appearing on other platforms, including Chrome OS.
There are several new features and tweaks in Chrome OS 87 that are not yet part of the default Chrome OS experience. They are likely not stable enough to be enabled for everyone while they're still in development. Some of these experimental features are tucked behind a page where they can be manually switched on or off. You can find these switches, or "flags," by typing chrome://flags in Chrome’s URL bar and hitting enter. Here is a list of flags we recommend trying out.
Let's face it: the retina-burning startup animation on Chrome OS is incredibly annoying. Thanks to Chromebooks ramping up the brightness during boot, I find myself closing the lid to shield my eyes, especially at night. With Google working hard to bring a system-wide dark theme in the OS and its apps, many users hoped that the developers would also apply a dark background to the boot screen. Unfortunately, there's no evidence that Google is currently working on a dark startup animation, but it does look like the recovery mode UI on Chromebooks will soon get the dark mode treatment.
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Google's Pixel Slate following our coverage of a severe hardware issue affecting the Core i5 edition. For many Pixel Slate owners, that hardware was a significant step back from Google's critically acclaimed Pixelbook, which has been praised for its stellar design and speedy performance. In what seems like a series of unfortunate events, the original Pixelbook now finds itself in a nasty predicament that, similar to the Pixel Slate situation, can't easily be fixed with a software update.
It's no secret that Google's Pixel Slate has been a colossal disaster since it launched in late 2018. Google was betting big on making a compelling tablet powered by Chrome OS, but the software quirks, egregious price, and awkward tablet experience made it a painful product to use. The good news is that Google fixed most of the weird software bugs with updates, resulting in a much-improved user experience that doesn't nearly impede your workflow as much as it did before. However, the Pixel Slate once again finds itself in a nasty predicament, and it's something that can't easily be fixed by updating the software.
It's been a rough week for most Chromebooks following Google's ill-fated attempt to roll Chrome OS 86 out to the stable channel. Shortly after Google announced the major milestone update, I covered a slew of new features and improvement found within, including accessibility improvements, an improved login screen experience, and a refreshed gallery app. Although some people are enjoying OS 86 without problems, others are still anxiously waiting for the new update to land on their Chromebook. In a surprising move by Google, it silently pulled the build off the update server a couple of days before the update finished rolling out.