Hey, Chromebooks and Chrome OS have been around for 10 years! To celebrate the occasion, Google is pushing out a special update that introduces a bunch of new features, including one that lets your phone connect more closely with your Chrome device.
The update will arrive over the next few weeks as Chrome OS 89. When it hits your Chromebook, here are some of the goodies you should be on the lookout for.
In this new feature (pictured above), your Chromebook will be able to see tabs you recently had open on your Android phone, as well as check your phones battery life and cellular signal, turn on its hotspot, locate it, and respond to messages. That’s super sweet, assuming this isn’t a Pixel-exclusive thing.
Yes, Chrome OS is finally getting a simple screenshot/screen capture tool that will let you capture stills or record your screen with video, crop and edit captures, and more.
To access it, you’ll head into your Quick Settings menu and click “Screen capture.”
Some of the other new features are:
- WiFi Sync expansion: The new Chrome OS expands support for your Chromebook’s ability to “automatically connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks that you’ve used on your Android phone and other Chrome OS devices when signed in with the same Google Account.” To enable WiFi syncing, head to “Connected devices” in Chrome OS Settings, click the arrow next to the phone, and toggle “Wi-Fi Sync” on.
- Nearby Share: The newish file sharing technology that recently came to your phone is coming to Chromebooks too. With Nearby Share, you’ll be able “to instantly and securely share files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices.” This might not arrive for a few months.
- Tote: “Tote is a new holding space” in the bottom right by the Quick Settings area “that makes it easy for you to find the right file fast.” This area will show “recent downloads, recent screen captures, and any files that you’ve decided to pin.”
- Copy and Paste more stuff: In this new Chrome OS, the clipboard “saves the last five items copied so you can easily paste any or all to a new page without needing to switch between windows.” To access it, hit the Everything Button ( or ) + V.
And that’s not it. Chrome OS will have more control over workspaces with Desks, help from the Google Assistant when you highlight text, a more personalized lock screen, pinned media controls, and more. To see everything, head over to this Chrome page.