The latest version of Chrome OS brings a number of new features for Chromebooks and other devices running Google’s operating system… including the growing number of Chrome OS tablets.
Among other things, Chrome OS 72 includes a version of the Chrome browser that’s been optimized for touchscreen devices when you’re using them in tablet mode. There are also a number of improvements for Android app support, which could make Chrome OS tablets feel a little more like native Android devices.
For example Android app shortcuts are now searchable in the launcher, an Android apps can also now access external storage (if you have a USB flash drive or SD card plugged in).
Chrome OS 72 also includes some updates that have little to nothing to do with touchscreens, including:
- Support for Picture in Picture mode in Chrome sites
- Files that are saved to Google Drive via Backup and Sync are now available in the Files app on your device (under My Drive/Computers)
- The ChromeVox screen reader has an option to read anything under the mouse cursor
- There a new policies for managing print jobs
Google says the Shill network manager for Chrome OS has also been placed in a sandbox so it no longer runs as the root user. This is a security measure that should help protect against some vulnerabilities related to networking.
While Google has a habit of highlighting a few new features and bug fixes in its release announcements, folks who follow the dev channel and beta channel have been spotting new features in Chrome OS for months. You can check out About Chromebooks to find out about some other changes affecting Crostini (which lets you run Linux apps on Chrome OS), Google assistant, and other parts of the operating system.