In early November of 2020, Android Police’s Kent Duke discovered a new tool being added to Chrome OS that would bring a suite of network connectivity tests to a native system web app. These tests reflect the same tools that can be found when you head to chrome://network in your browser. Under the “network health” tab, you’ll find tests for wi-fi connectivity, DNS status, and other useful tools for testing the integrity of your wireless network. If you find you have network issues and you can’t fix them, there’s also a feedback button to send your test results to the Chrome OS developer team. The new tool essentially takes these diagnostic tests and wraps them in a built-in progressive web application.
The latest update to the Canary channel of Chrome OS (version 92.0.4481.0) adds a flag that will integrate the network tests into the upcoming Diagnostic SWA that is currently living in the Beta channel. The Diagnostic app already includes useful information about CPU and memory usage, battery health, and CPU temperature. The flag, #enable-networking-in-diagnostics-app, tags the network connectivity tests at the end of the Diagnostic apps set of tools and it offers up the same “network health” tools found on the aforementioned network URL.
With Chrome OS breaking into the enterprise sector and Google looking to push more power users to Chromebooks, the need for a diagnostic tool that’s front-facing and easy to use is a high priority. The Diagnostic app is a step in the right direction in giving users the tools they need to quickly detect hardware and network issues and it will be very useful in aiding developers in pinpointing device-specific bugs that may have been overlooked in a given release of Chrome OS. Chrome OS 90 is due out any day now and the Diagnostic app should come along for the ride. I would guess that the network connectivity tools will still be disabled behind a flag but you can still try them out at chrome://network now if you’d like.