You can already read all about Chrome OS 91 and all the devices currently getting it (and those who aren’t just yet), but we wanted to highlight a few of these new features on video as we do each time a new version of the OS becomes available. While Chrome OS 91 isn’t a major overhaul, it does introduce a few key features that will become quite useful as all of us begin utilizing them on a regular basis.
The smaller stuff includes a new app badge notification sytem that puts a simple dot on apps that have notifications available. With PWAs like the Twitter app, anytime a user has notifications waiting, the dot appears in a non-obstructive manner that simply lets them know action is being requested. So far, we’re not seeing any evidence that these app badges will contain numbers in them, and that’s a good thing. Notification badges with numbers in them tend to produce anxiety, and that’s the last thing any of us need.
The big change we’re highlighting in the video is Nearby Share. Though it has been around in various Chrome OS channels and behind flags for over a year at this point, Google has gone and made it official with Chrome OS 91 and they have delivered an absolute knock-out with it. Yes, early iterations of this feature have been janky and unreliable, but this fully-baked iteration in Chrome OS 91 is just fantastic to use.
Whether it is Chromebook-to-phone, phone-to-Chromebook, or Chromebook-to-Chromebook, Nearby Share just works. And it has worked every single time I’ve attempted it with no issues present in device location or file transfers. I’ve moved images, PDFs, documents, and videos (up to 500MB) and every single file ended up just where I intended. Compared to the hit-or-miss versions we’ve played with in the past, it is pretty astonishing how stable this new feature feels at this point. I have little doubt that Nearby Share will be a daily-use feature for me from this point forward, and it should be for you, too.