In late August, we discovered a new project that will soon bring a diagnostic app to Chrome OS. Presumably, this new system application would give users a quick look at basic system information such as CPU and RAM usage. According to the initial commits, the Diagnostic app would also allow users to perform diagnostic tests on their Chromebooks. My theory is that these tests would be useful in not only diagnosing system issues but would also give users necessary information that can be used by developers when system feedback is submitted using ALT+Shift+i to report bugs.
When the Diagnostic app first appeared in the Canary channel, it was nothing more than an icon that opened a blank web app titled diagnostics. Recently, a new update to the app gives us our first look at what type of information we will glean from the Diagnostic App. The Diagnostic app currently launches just a placeholder with “fake” system information but it shows a lot of what we presumed we would see.
As you can see, the Diagnostic app shows RAM and CPU usage but you can also see a Batter Status section. I would guess that this will show current battery status along with things such as output, battery capacity, and things of that nature. Kevin Tofel of About Chromebooks recently discovered a commit that will expose battery-specific information. I would bet that this information will eventually be used to populate the Battery Status of the Diagnostic App. This will be a welcome addition as most users are probably unaware of the battery test that lives inside the somewhat intimidating Crosh shell.
There is clearly a lot of work to be done on the Diagnostic App. Based on the verbiage of the commit, we should eventually see sections for running diagnostic tests. I’ll have to do some more digging to figure out exactly what these tests will look like but I suspect that we’ll see another update to the Diagnostic App in the coming weeks. This will eliminate the need for Chrome Apps like Cog and should give new and experiences Chromebook users a little peace of mind when it comes to pinpointing software hiccups.