Yesterday, Chrome OS 86 began rolling out to users around the globe. (Everyone except Robby, apparently.) The latest version of Chrome OS includes a heavy focus on accessibility features and updates but as we expected, there was more to this update than what was officially announced. One such feature is something Robby discovered in the Canary channel just a few weeks back. While the change may seem minimal, it will bring more continuity to the daily flow of using your Chromebook.
PIN Unlock has been an in-built feature of Chromebooks since early 2017 when it rolled out in Chrome OS 57. Personally, I use my phone and smart lock as my go-to unlocking option despite the feature’s hit-or-miss reliability. I’m a contrarian. I can’t help it. Still, I totally understand why users would want to set up a quick PIN to log into their devices. It’s quick, obviously and it can be punched in with one hand. If your password is like mine, it takes both hands and you have to stretch a little before you start typing so you don’t get a cramp. A PIN number is perfect when you’re just stepping away from your device for a moment but want to lock the screen. Many users utilize the PIN lock as the default screen lock. If you are one of those users, your login process will now require one less step.
Chrome OS 86 has updated the PIN lock login will now automatically submit your PIN once you input the final number in the sequence. This may feel like a meaningless tweak but I suspect most users are accustomed to this feature on their smartphones. It only makes sense that your Chromebook should work in the same manner. Over time, this will save users time and aid in creating a more productive workflow. Additionally, Chrome OS 86 has separated the PIN and password UI. When at the lock screen, you will now switch between PIN and password via a convenient button beneath the PIN pad.
There are a number of new changes and updates in Chrome OS 86 that weren’t covered in the initial release notes. Stay tuned as we break them down piece by piece. We’re tracking a ton of new features coming in future releases but 86 has a lot to offer and we’ll dissect every bit of it.