Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of Google’s beloved laptop – the Chromebook! Because you’re well aware of what a Chromebook is since that’s what we’re very much about here at Chrome Unboxed, let’s take a few moments to discuss what Google revealed about the future of these devices on its blog. Yes, Chromebooks have come a very, very long way over the past decade, but they’re just getting started – the future holds some very interesting goals.
First, if you haven’t already seen, Google is celebrating this anniversary with a slew of new features – many that we’ve been tracking and covering for some time now. Holding Space is now called ‘Tote’, Phone Hub is officially rolling out, the global media controls now sit on the shelf, and more all come to the masses with Chrome OS 89! However, that’s just the beginning.
Google has a mind to make Chromebooks even more intelligent and helpful to everyone over the next 10 years. For starters, it has decided that its AI technology should be more prevalent throughout the core experiences of the operating system and not merely a separate tool (read: Google Assistant). We’re already beginning to see this come to fruition with the Quick Answers feature which allows you to right-click on text across the OS and get Assistant to tell you more about it. The company has committed to finding new ways it can help users proactively with these tools.
Next, Google discussed a future where Chromebooks integrate more sensor technologies for a personalized experience. While we don’t yet know what this will look like, I imagine it will at least include some of the sensors available in smartphones. The idea of having a proximity sensor in a laptop that can detect how far away from it you are, or perform a task when you approach it like the Nest Hub recently started doing is pretty cool, I think.
Other common phone sensors include an accelerometer which detects tilting motions, vibrations, and acceleration (for Chrome OS Tablets?), GPS, Gyroscope, which detects a device’s physical orientation, and more. I’ll let your imagination run wild with that, but one thing is for certain – we’re going to see more Chromebooks with built-in fingerprint sensors. I imagine we will also get some sort of face unlock functionality at some point, but there’s no way to know for sure yet. Either way, that would be my top feature request and it certainly makes sense when you think about the natural evolution of Chromebooks, doesn’t it?
Google also mentioned that it has decided to expand its portfolio of devices with cellular connectivity, like the upcoming, mysterious ‘Coachz’ for starters! The last time I recall there being an LTE-enabled Chromebook was with a version of the Samsung Plus, but for some reason, the company killed the idea. Luckily, it’s coming back in full force.
I woke up this morning with my head spinning with possibilities. The future of Chromebooks is bright, and I simply can’t wait to see what Google brings to the table. While many of its products continue to be shelved or set off into the sunset, Chromebooks have continued to improve with time. The company’s investment into these devices can certainly be traced back to the fact that their visionary – Sundar Pichai – is now the CEO of Google and Alphabet. He clearly has a desire to make Chromebooks a household name and sees a future where they are central to the lives of millions – I’m on board, are you?