According to the Chrome Releases Blog, Chrome OS 65 is now available and rolling out to “most devices.” We’ll get to that “most devices” part in a second, but for the majority of users, version 65 should be showing up in the form of an auto update within the next few days. We’re all used to the standard 6-week update schedule, but this time around, the number of features added is more than most.
First things first, if you aren’t seeing the lovely update arrow in your system tray, click on your tray and select the settings gear. From there, hit the hamburger menu > About Chrome OS > Check for updates. Don’t panic if you don’t get the update: it will roll out over the course of a few days.
However, the opening of the post does say “most devices,” and that gives us a bit of pause. Once upon a time, Chromebooks were all so similar that updates happened for everyone at basically the same time. Those days – like it or hate it – are behind us. With Android/Play Store support and a wide variety of processors and boards, the days of seeing all devices get the latest update on day one are likely gone. Perhaps as feature parity comes back in the next year or so (we should see most Chromebooks with a touchscreen, Android apps, and Google Assistant) we’ll see a more cohesive update rollout.
For now, we’re hopeful that “most devices” means what it says. I can tell you that my Pixelbook hasn’t updated yet, so as per usual, I’ll be interested to see when it does update. We can’t speak for which devices are getting the update, but I’m assuming many of you will see it today or tomorrow. Reports are showing that around 50% of devices are already getting the update and we hope that number rises quite a bit in the following few days.
Anyway, you came here for features, so let’s get to them! I’ll list them all here and, over the course of the next few days, we’re going to explore a few of these and see what all the fuss is about. We’ll link the ones we spend time with so if you stumble upon this later, you can check it out.
New Features in Chrome OS 65 Include:
- Enterprise policy for keeping account sign-in consistent between browser and device
- Local files now available in Launcher search results
- Kiosk mode now supports mix mode for external displays, extended and mirroring mode simultaneously
- Automatic Re-Enrollment for managed devices
- Select-to-Speak word highlighting and additional options
- Support device-wide certificates in SAML SSO sign-in
- ARC++ WM resize shadow and drag magnetization
- MIDI API support for Android apps running on Chrome OS
- Short video recording for profile pictures
- Advanced options screen for tablet setup
- Expanded unzipping support within Files app for files hosted on Drive
- New setting for more accurate timezone detection
Security Fixes Include:
- Intel devices on 3.14 kernels received the KPTI mitigation against Meltdown with Chrome OS 65.
- All Intel devices received the Retpoline mitigation against Spectre variant 2 with Chrome OS 65.
So, a few of these look really interesting. Specifically, local files in the launcher search, Select-to-Speak word highlighting, ARC++ WM resizing shadows and drag magnetizing, MIDI support for Android Apps, profile video recording, advanced options screen for tablet setup, and Drive unzipping support within the Files app. It is also great to see more kernels receiving the KTPI and Retpoline mitigations as well.
More secure, more feature-rich, more awesome. These are the kind of update cycles that excite me! Check back often as we’ll cover as many of these new updates as possible and let you all know how they work and will/won’t affect your daily usage.
Also, let us know in the comments when you recieve the OS 65 update so others can see as the rollout moves forward. Thanks!