A few months back, it was discovered that Google was working to bring Bluetooth battery levels to Chrome OS for connected peripherals. I don’t know about you, but guessing at the battery level of my headphones, keyboard and mouse isn’t exactly my idea of fun. With more detachable and tablet devices on the way in the early parts of 2020, it only makes sense for Google to get this feature finally close to rolling out for users.
There are a few caveats that apply, here, so let’s get those out of the way. First up, this won’t work on every single Bluetooth device. Not all Bluetooth devices report their battery levels properly and this new feature won’t change that fact. Second, and more importantly, the flag this feature is hidden behind in the Stable channel of Chrome OS can cause some Bluetooth LE (low energy) devices to simply stop functioning.
There is a thread in the bug tracker about this particular problem and it is why this feature has made it to the Stable channel but is still hidden behind a flag for now. There’s no real evidence this has been solved, so it may take the Newblue efforts and Bluetooth 5.0 to arrive before we see this feature fully arrive without issues.
How To Try It Out
Getting this flag turned on is simple. Just enter chrome://flags/#show-bluetooth-device-battery in your omnibar and hit the button on the right to select ‘enabled’ for the flag. You’ll be prompted to restart your Chromebook and after you’ve done so, you’ll be able to connect up your favorite Bluetooth accessories and hopefully see a bit more info about them right in the system tray. Take a look:
Bluetooth on Chromebooks has been an issue for longer than I can remember, and this doesn’t do much to solve the underlying issues, but it makes using Bluetooth devices with my Chromebook a better experience for sure. Again, I feel confident that features like this will be seamless and better-implemented when the new wave of Chromebooks and Bluetooth 5.0 show up on the scene very soon. For now, however, any redeeming fix to Bluetooth usability on Chrome OS is a very welcome addition.
SOURCE: 9to5 Google