Google’s new 4-week rollout schedule for Chrome OS appears to be running like clockwork and just like that, we are now seeing the release of version 99 of the Chrome operating system. This release is relatively minor as Google prepares for the landmark release of version 100 of the Chrome browser and Chrome OS but there are some notable updates that are worth your time and attention. Here’s a quick look at what’s new on Chrome OS 99.
The Chrome OS camera app has seen consistent updates and improvements over the past couple of years. From the ability to pause video on the fly to scanning documents directly from the app, the Camera app has evolved into a powerful tool in the Chrome OS tool bag. In the latest update, the Chrome OS Camera App has added a tool to make short, 5-second GIFs that can be instantly shared directly from the app.
To create a GIF, simply set the camera to the video option and you will see a new GIF button. You can record a full five seconds or stop the animated image short of that if you like. When you’re finished, you’ll have the option to save it, retake it, or share it. The latter of the three options will bring up the Share Sheet right inside the Camera App.
Drag and drop for new Virtual Desk
Last month, Robby highlighted this new productivity feature that’s been hiding behind a flag in Chrome OS. The concept is simple but powerful. If you’re working from multiple Virtual Desks and you need to add an open window or app to a new desk, you can now do so by activating overview mode and dragging the app onto the “new desk” tab. This feature is now enabled by default.
Along with these new features, there are a handful of bug fixes that netted some developers more than $20K in bug bounties. Below, you can find the security patches and their corresponding bug reports.
Nearby Sharing Background Scanning
Nearby sharing has revolutionized how we transfer files around the office and the feature just keeps getting better. In Chrome OS 99, Google is bringing background scanning to the file-sharing feature. Now, instead of enabling Nearby Share manually, users will receive a notification when another device is using Nearby Share. Then, you can simply click the notification to enable the file transfer or dismiss it if the file isn’t coming to you.
Our contact at Google stated that this feature is part of Chrome OS 99. However, after updating my Chromebook, it appears to still be disabled by default. If you’d like to turn it on, just navigate to the chrome://flags and search for “nearby sharing background scanning” and set it to enabled. Restart your browser and you’re all set.
Bug Fixes & Bounties
- [Internal] Medium: Authentication Issue in VPN client
- [$TBD] High: Heap-user-after-free in NearbyShare
- [Internal] Medium: Heap-use-after-free in ChromeVox
- [$15,000] High: Heap-use-after-free in Printing UI
- [$7000] Medium: Heap-use-after-free in Window Manager
- [Internal] High: Heap-use-after-free in Window Manager
That’s about it for Chrome OS 99 for now but I’m sure that we’ll uncover some more features hiding in the shadows. Stay tuned for more as I’m sure we’ll have some fun flags and features that you’ll want to try out in the latest build of Chrome OS. Version 100 is right around the corner and you can bet that it will be a massive release. We’re excited to see what the next one hundred versions of Chrome OS will bring. Most eligible devices have received the update to Chrome OS 99. If you’re unsure whether or not your device is on the list, you can head over to this handy website and check which version you should have.