Google is throwing a birthday party for the operating system that powers Chromebooks, and as Chrome OS enters its double-digits, Google is giving it a few presents to commemorate the milestone.
Keep in mind that Google is rolling out new features for Chrome OS all the time, and some of these have been in development for a while. You may have even seen them in recent canary, dev, or beta channel builds. But now they’re rolling out to users with the release of Chrome OS 89:
- Phone Hub – Pair your Android phone with a Chromebook and view and respond to text messages from your Chromebook, view your phone’s battery life and cell signal status, view open browser tabs
- Wi-Fi Sync – Chromebooks can now automatically connect to trusted WiFi networks that you’ve used on Android phones or other devices , and connect to WiFi while signed into your Google account.
- Quick Settings – New features in the Quick Settings panel include a Screen Capture option for quickly snapping a screenshot or making a screen recording and Media playback controls
- Clipboard – The last five items you’ve copied on a Chromebook can be pasted from a clipboard by hitting the Everything Button + V, saving you the trouble of flipping between windows.
- Quick Answers – Right-click a word or passage and start a search without opening a separate search tab.
- Desks – The virtual desktop feature will now automatically restore previously-opened desks when you reboot a Chromebook. You can also send a window to one or all of your desks by right-clicking the top of the window.
- Parental features – During setup, parents can now quickly add a school account to a Chromebook, allowing parents to use Family Link to supervise as kids do homework on a Chromebook. Parents can also now help kids set a PIN during setup.
Google says it’s also improved some existing Chrome OS features with updates that make it easier to quickly share an app or website, adjust playback speed when using select-to-speak, and the company has updated icons for the built-in apps that come preloaded on a Chromebook.
Google also says that it’s bringing support for Nearby Share to Chrome OS “in the coming months.” This feature, which is already available for Android, lets you share files between nearby devices using Bluetooth or a device-to-device WiFi connection and without the need to exchange contact details. Soon you’ll be able to use it to transfer files between Android and Chrome OS devices or from Chromebook to Chromebook.