Since July of last year, we have been closely watching work being done on Chrome OS to bring the Assistant’s Ambient Mode to Chrome OS. A recent update has brought the feature to the Developer Channel of Chrome OS but it’s pretty bare-bones at the moment. As you’d expect, the Ambient Display Mode works just as it would on a smart display. When you lock your Chromebook, the screen will shuffle through a wide range of art gallery photos, landscapes and cool photography from around the world.
While this new Ambient Mode is neat, we’ve been watching in the hopes that it would add more functionalities that would bring it on par with how the feature behaves on smart displays. More specifically, the ability to select your personal photos to be displayed when Ambient Mode kicks in on the Chromebook. The Developer Channel is still lacking this add-on but our friend Dinsan Francis of Chrome Story discovered that Google Photos is now an option for Ambient Mode in the Canary Channel.
I moved a device over to Canary but sadly, the Google Photos option doesn’t appear to be enabled at the moment. Still, this is an awesome and needed update to the emerging feature and it will help users in personalizing their devices. Presumably, you will be select Google Photos and then specify galleries or even people as you can on Assistant Smart Displays. Development of this feature has been taking its sweet time but as it probably isn’t a top priority at the moment, that’s not surprising. Either way, we’re keeping a close watch on Ambient Mode. Given Chrome OS’s new release schedule, it’s possible we see this feature debut with version 83 or 84 in the next couple of months.