Chrome OS M78 should be rolling out any time now and when it arrives, it will bring some new and updated features that should make Google’s desktop operating system more user-friendly in a variety of ways. The latest version will be headed our way over the next few days and here’s a look at what to expect when it lands.
This productivity-focused feature was actually announced as part of Chrome OS 77 but it has remained behind a flag as developers tweak the multi-tasking tool. Virtual Desks will now be an official part of Chrome OS and they come with some handy little shortcuts to make navigation even easier. In Chrome OS M78, users can three-finger swipe up or press the overview key (directly left of the screen brightness keys) and add multiple desktops using the “+ New desk” button. You can drag and drop your tabs and apps into your new desks to keep your desktop clean and organized.
What would Virtual Desks be if they didn’t have helpful keyboard shortcuts, right? Now, you will be able to create a new desk, switch desks and move your windows between desks using the keyboard shortcuts below.
- Create a new Desk with “Shift” + “Search ” + “=”
- Switch between Desks with “Search ” + “]”
- Move windows between Desks with “Shift” + “Search ” + “]”
Printing has always been a bit of a crapshoot on Chrome OS. For those who know the tricks and which printers to buy, using a printer can be relatively painless. HP, for example, even offers a handy Print for Chrome extension that will automatically recognize and access HP brand printers to make the process nearly foolproof. Sadly, many users that have existing printers require jumping through hoops to set up Cloud printing or other proxy services in order to function.
Chrome OS M78 looks to take the pain out of printing by removing the setup process. If you have a compatible printer on your network, Chrome OS will automatically recognize the printer and let you select and print from it with no additional steps. Huge win for Chromebook users around the world.
Click to Call
The Chrome team has been busy blurring the lines between mobile and desktop with helpful features like “Send to self” that allows you to share text and links directly to your connected Android phone. Now, in Chrome OS M78, users will be able to initiate a phone call by clicking a number on their Chrome device and sending it to their phones. Simply right-click a phone number and select “send to your device” and pick your connected Android device. You will receive a prompt on your phone and the number will pop up in your dialer. Hit dial and you’re good to go.
New Feedback UI
Robby teased this feature a few weeks back and now it’s going live in the Stable channel. Most users are probably unaware of how to send feedback when there is an issue with their device or they would like to submit a feature request. With Chrome OS M78, the “feedback” button will now show up when you press and hold the power button on your device. This will present you with the usual lock, sign off and power options but now will add a feedback button to make it easier to send reports to the Chrome OS team.
There’s a lot of exciting stuff in the latest version of Chrome OS and I suspect we will unearth some more hidden gems when it finally arrives. The update should begin rolling out over the next few days and we will update this article when it is officially out in the wild. So, stay tuned for more details as they arrive.