From time to time, this happens. A Chrome OS update is announced, starts showing up for users, and then we begin realizing that a large swath of Chromebooks aren’t yet getting the promised update. Scheduled for Tuesday this week, Chrome OS 90 arrived with some cool new features that we’ve been tracking for some time. While not the action-packed release that Chrome OS 89 was (that was released on the 10th birthday of the OS, after all), Chrome OS 90 comes with its fair share of nice upgrades and one in particular that I think could be holding things up a bit.
First, let’s talk about the Chromebook categories we’ve identified as not yet having the update. Most notably, ‘Hatch’ devices (think Acer Spin 713, Lenovo ThinkPad C13, Lenovo Flex 5, HP x360 14c) are currently not seeing the update. Google’s own Pixelbook Go and Pixel Slate are also in our office and we can confirm they are still stuck on Chrome OS 89. Those we’ve seen successfully take the update include devices with Apollo Lake and Gemini Lake processors, MediaTek processors, and a certain Snapdragon 7c device that we can’t talk about just yet.
While this is aggravating for those of you who bought devices recently (most of the Chromebooks on the list not getting the update right now are newer), I wouldn’t fret too much. I’d wager we’ll see things all caught up by next week and there could be a connecting reason we’re seeing the update take a tad bit longer than usual. Remember, Android 11 and the new ARCVM container are both on the way for many Chromebooks and I don’t think it is a coincidence that ‘Hatch’ devices were the first tested with it. With those devices all being in the ‘left out’ category right now, I have a gut feeling we may see Chrome OS 90 roll out for those currently left behind and it could come with a newer version of Android. For now, just mark that up as a hunch, but I’m hopeful we’ll see some Android 11 in the near future. Until then, sit tight, know that you’re not the only one waiting on Chrome OS 90, and know that it should be here sooner than later.