Right on schedule, ChromeOS 115 is arriving on a Chromebook near you and unlike the last few 4-week updates, this one has quite a few new tricks up its sleeve. A few, small, handy updates are here to join in with a couple larger features that we’ve been testing for a few months at this point. Let’s dive in and see the fun, new stuff your Chromebook can do with the 115 release.
Android App Streaming is here
One of the most intriguing features is the Stable Channel arrival of Android App Streaming from Pixel Phones (4a and newer) or Xiaomi Phones(12T, 12T Pro, 13, 13 Pro) running Android 13 or newer with Cross-Device Services installed. Initially announced during I/O 2023, this interesting feature is built to enable users to stream apps from their mobile devices to their Chromebooks in real time.
According to Google, this App Streaming allows you to “complete quick tasks like replying to a conversation, checking on the status of a rideshare or delivery, and editing your shopping list” right from your Chromebook: no need to pick up the phone. Individual Android apps can also be launched via the Phone Hub, where you get a row of Recent apps at the bottom of the panel and can browse all compatible apps from your phone to use via the pop-up window.
Window snapping tools
ChromeOS 115 is also delivering the new window resize tool that lets you snap windows to different locations and sizes with one click. When hovering over the expand/minimize button in the top-right corner control group, a new layout menu appears, including options like Split (half), Partial, Full, and Float. The latter, a new addition, ensures that the window always stays on top, similar to Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for video. We’ve been playing with these new window snapping tools for a bit in the Beta Channel of ChromeOS, so it’s nice to see them arrive, here.
New ways to sign PDFs
Further enhancing usability, when opening PDFs in the Gallery app, ChromeOS 115 now includes a new signature tool. Conveniently placed next to the “draw” button in the top toolbar, this new feature allows you to add a signature and save it for future use. You can then place the saved signature in any document and resize it to ensure a perfect fit. It’s worth noting that this is all simpler with Chromebooks that have a touchscreen, but it can be done with a trackpad or mouse in a pinch. Obviously, devices that support pen input are most ideal for this new feature.
Keyboard shortcuts app
Finally, the ChromeOS 115 update also brings about improvements in the keyboard Shortcuts app. Google has updated things with a new navigation and taxonomy, improved search, and a refreshed shortcut visualization that better illustrates what keys to press. The whole thing fits far more into the Material You look and feel of ChromeOS (if you have all of those flags turned on, that is) and is a lot simpler to use for new Chromebook adopters, too.
For now, that’s all we know that is new with ChromeOS 115, but I’m sure there are small changes here and there that we’ll find over the coming weeks. With big, new features like App Streaming and the new window resize tools, this is one of the beefier updates we’ve seen in a while, and as always, we love seeing Chromebooks getting better and the stuff users actually want and need.