In October, Google launched the latest release of Chrome OS – OS version 54. With it, came a variety of new features and improvements for the platform. But the most notable addition, is the update laid the foundation for a future release, Chrome OS 55 which will drop very, very soon.
Several enhancements – namely with performance – will allow Chrome OS users to be more efficient, more productive.
How You Can Boost Your Productivity
There are some great features of Chrome OS that can help you be more productive. If you already use the platform – or are planning to in the near future – you will want to pay attention and learn these tricks.
One thing you might be pleased to know is that Chrome OS 55 will be using 50% less RAM on average to perform functions. This means that machines with 1GB of RAM or less will see a serious performance boost.
1) Search Gmail and Google Drive from the Omnibox
The Omnibox is essentially the main window or search tool that you use in Chrome OS. Because everything is run within a browser window, you can simply use the navigation bar to search the computer, as well.
But if you find yourself using Gmail and Google Drive often, especially if you’re searching for files then this little productivity trick should help you out.
To set things up, navigate to Settings > Manage Search Engines and scroll to the bottom of the “Other Search Engines” field. This allows you to add custom search tools for use with the Omnibox.
For the first search engine, type Gmail as the keyword and include the following URL:
Do it again, but this time type Google Drive or Drive as the keyword and include the next URL:
After this is all setup, make sure to save your settings. Then you can type the keyword in the search field and press tab to search that specific app. For example, to search Gmail you would type “Gmail,” press the TAB key and then include your search terms.
You can do this with a variety of apps and services if you know the appropriate URL. This allows you to truly unlock the full potential of the Chrome OS and boost your productivity.
2) Master the App Launcher
In Chrome OS, the App Launcher is like the Windows Start Menu. On Chromebooks, you can quickly access this by pressing a proprietary key that replaced the CAPS LOCK key.
Learn to use this appropriately. In other words, master it and you will seriously boost your productivity. You can use it as a quick launch tool to find and open apps. You can use it to search the web via Google. You can even open Google Now – Google’s version of Siri.
3) Voice Input, Handwriting, and Quick Emojis
In Chrome OS 55 Google will be adding a variety of quick-access features like voice input, handwriting, and emojis.
Voice input – as you’d expect – allows you to give the Chrome OS voice commands and interact with Google Now. As for the handwriting and quick emojis, they enhance the experience allowing you to be both more communicative and productive.
4) Window Snapping in Chrome OS
One of the best additions to Windows 7 was the ability to snap windows to only half of the screen. This allows you to be extremely productive by organizing your desktop quick and easy. Believe it or not, the Chrome OS offers something similar which was added in one of the later updates.
To position windows on half the screen, click and drag it to the left or right. It will snap automatically. You can also use the hotkeys ALT + ] or [.
5) Focus in a Single Window or App
In the Chrome browser, you can open a window in full screen to make it the primary focus and block out all other content. This is no different in the Chrome OS. You can do this quickly by clicking on the “Immersive” mode button or pressing F4.