Google will begin rolling out an update to the Chrome OS Beta Channel next week bringing an updated Chrome Launcher, support for password-protected ZIP files, and more.
One of the most interesting new features coming to Google’s operating system for Chromebooks is support for Google Now in the app launcher.
Hit the search icon in the taskbar and a window will pop up giving you a search bar, shortcuts to your apps, and Google Now cards which can display weather, upcoming appointments, and other details based on what Google knows about you and your preferences (if you have Now enabled).
The update also brings automatic time zone updates for folks who are travelling (your Chromebook will detect your location and adjust the time accordingly, just like your smartphone probably does).
Have a password-protected ZIP file you want to open? You’ll be able to do that in Chrome OS too… and there’s an option to remember passwords for individual files.
Google is also bringing material design to some of the default Chrome OS apps including the Files app.
Note that the beta channel may include some bugs or instabilities… but if you don’t want to live on the edge all you have to do is wait a little while. Most of these new features will probably roll out to the stable channel of Chrome OS in the coming weeks or months.