Chrome OS 92 was slated to release last week but, as you probably know, Google has been a bit busy making preparations to announce the upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 Pro to the world. Regardless, Google has finally taken the wraps off of the latest iteration of Chrome OS and this update brings some very interesting new features along for the ride that will make Chromebooks even more useful for users on the go. The update to Chrome OS 92 is just now rolling out to the update server and here’s a quick look at what’s coming when it arrives.
Improved video calls
Chrome OS has become a powerful productivity tool in the hands of remote workers, students, and general consumers and Google continues to bake in more features to enhance the platform’s capabilities. While making video calls via Google Meet, Zoom, and other web services is nothing new, Chromebooks will now have Google’s Meet PWA pre-installed and available straight from the app launcher. Additionally, Google is touting performance improvements that include adapting calls based on network conditions and adjusting volume when using screen sharing.
LTE-enabled Chromebooks are few and far between but the need for a portable, always-connected device is real and Google clearly sees that need. With more cellular-capable devices emerging, it was just a matter of time before Chromebooks began to embrace the more flexible eSIM technology that allows users to enable LTE data without the need for a physical SIM card. With the latest update to Chrome OS, compatible devices will be able to add an eSIM from your eligible carrier by heading to the device’s Mobile Date network settings and adding a network with a QR Code or access code.
Google recently updated its emoji résumé with a massive overhaul, new additions, and some tweaks for the upcoming Android 12 release. Part of this update includes a new and improved Emoji picker for Chrome OS. With the new shortcut, Launcher key + Shift + Space, you can launch the compact Emoji picker and express yourself to your heart’s content. The picker will include recently used Emojis as well as suggestions to help you discover new icons.
Explore App Digital Magazine for Kids
Back in April, our own Michael Perrigo unearthed a new feature headed to the Chrome OS Explore App that would help kids and parents discover apps and games curated specifically for families. Formerly the Discover App, Explore gives you a tour of your device and whether you’re a first-time user or old hat, there’s tons of great information about your device, apps, perks, and even help channels. The update will add the Digital Magazine to the Explore App with the first “issue” focusing on game design. Kids will be able to find apps that will help them design their own games and even check out interviews from game developers to help inspire creativity.
Last but definitely not least, Google continues its commitment to cultural and racial unity with a new line of wallpapers from three incredible artists. From The Keyword:
This month we’re also introducing a new collection of wallpapers from three Black artists, Aurelia Durand, Sabrena Khadija and Meech Boakye. Each artist created wallpapers inspired by the concept of togetherness. Their lively designs reflect connections between family and friends, empowering and uplifting one’s community, and the experience of being in nature.
You can find the new backgrounds in your wallpaper picker under the “Togetherness” category. Chrome OS has started rolling out to a handful of devices including the Pixelbook Go and Acer Spin 713. More devices should see the update in the coming days but you can check your device now by heading to the About Chrome OS section of your settings menu and pressing the Check for Updates button. You can also track the rollout over at cros.tech to see if your Chrome OS device is ready for the update. We’ll dig in to see what else may be hiding in the latest update to Chrome OS. Stay tuned.