Just a tad behind schedule, Chrome OS 87 is now making its way to the Stable Channel for select devices with a wider rollout happening over the next few days. The delayed-release was caused, in part, by a nasty bug that affected keyboard inputs in Android applications. This release of Chrome OS was already scheduled a week behind what is normally a one-week gap between the Chrome browser and the OS release but the Chrome OS dev team was on top of this unexpected bug and the release-blocking problem is now marked as fixed.
We’ll be dissecting this update over the next couple of days but for now, here’s what is “officially” new in Chrome OS 87. These updates come to us via the official Chromebook Support Forum where Google’s community manager regularly announces the milestone updates for Chrome OS. On the surface, Chrome OS 87 appears to be relatively minimal in the features department but I’m sure that we’ll unearth some hidden goodies over the weekend. Until then, here’s a quick look at what you can expect from Chrome OS 87 when your device receives it.
Google has been working on this productivity feature for quite some time. Tab Search is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of scrubbing through tabs to find the one you’ve lost, you can now click the dropdown at the top-right of the Chrome browser and quickly type a keyword to find exactly what you’re looking for. This will work across multiple instances of Chrome even if the tabs aren’t grouped together. Tab Search will be a tab hoarder’s dream come true and should help boost productivity for those that need to access various content quickly.
Bluetooth battery levels
I’ve grown accustomed to this handy little feature because I usually live in the Canary channel and for that reason, I had forgotten how long it had been in the works. With the update to Chrome OS 87, you will now be able to see the battery level of your connected Bluetooth headphones. The level will appear in the quick settings and settings menus under Bluetooth. The battery level will also report as a notification when you first connect your headphones to your Chromebook. We have seen this feature work intermittently with accessories as well but it is unclear if that support will be made official anytime soon.
Wallpapers may not increase your productivity but they can make your workspace a little more unique and Chrome OS 87 has added 36 more backgrounds to do just that. This comes on the heels of the Keyword post about Chrome OS and creators. The new wallpapers should include featured drawings from creators that have used Canva or other Chrome OS tools to bring their illustrations to life. As always, you can set your wallpapers to refresh daily so you can get a little taste of the variety that Chrome OS has to offer.
The majority of newer Chrome OS devices should have this update ready to download. If you aren’t sure if you’re device is on the list, just head to the settings menu and click “About Chrome OS” and then check for updates. You can also look for your device on this handy list here. You will see the currently available version for most Chromebook models under the “Stable” row. Check back this weekend. I’m sure we’ll have more to share about Chrome OS 87. If you’re interested, you can find all of the bugs and security fixes that were taken care of in this release right here.