For the countless users that have and will make the move to Chrome OS in 2020, a connectivity tool is something that many will expect to find should the need arise to diagnose network issues. While Chromebook users have some options for checking network errors, Chrome OS has never had an in-built connectivity diagnostic application outside of Google’s Web Store app. That particular web app works well and it does exactly what most users ask for by running diagnostic tests to check the usual suspects that cause connectivity problems.
The problem with the Web Store app is that one, it doesn’t come pre-installed on Chromebooks. Many users are unaware that it even exists let alone where to find it. Secondly, the Chrome Web Store will eventually stop supporting “apps” in their current forms and that means that Google’s connectivity tool will cease to exist. Thankfully, Chromebooks actually have a unique URL option to test a plethora of network features and find device-specific information as it pertains to your internet connection. If you are on a Chrome OS device, you can check it out by heading over to
As you can see in the image above, the URL tool gives you all the diagnostics you find in Google’s Chrome Web App but also identifies your device’s MAC addresses, VPN status, tethering, and much more. This is a very powerful and handy tool, especially for network administrators. However, like the Web Store App, most users don’t know that it exists. With the massive adoption of Chrome OS in the education, enterprise, and consumer spaces, these diagnostic tools should be a baked-in part of a Chromebook’s software and soon, it very well could be.
Spotted by Kent Duke of Android Police, the Canary channel of Chrome OS has recently added a Connectivity Diagnostics app that will deliver testing tools that can be used to identify network problems. The new feature appears to be a “system web app” which is nothing more than a PWA that comes preloaded on the Chrome operating system. In its current state, the “Connectivity Diagnostics WebUI” contains the same diagnostics tests found on the
chrome://network URL but it is possible that the application will eventually feature all of the tools available on the web. This is just another example of how the web will become the default workhorse behind many of the tools used on Chrome OS and eventually other operating systems. We’ll keep an eye on this and update accordingly as the feature evolves.