The latest update to the highly experimental Canary channel of Chrome OS has brought with it some very exciting news for Pixelbook owners and in turn, Chromebooks users in general.
Since making its way to the Stable channel, Android on Chrome OS has remained on the aging 7.1.1 version of the mobile OS framework. As Chrome Story reports, Google’s Pixelbook has skipped right past version 8.0 (Oreo) and is now running the latest iteration of Android 9 or Pie as it is affectionately known.
I had a little free time this afternoon so I took our resident Pixelbook on a trip to the Canary channel and found the update for myself. As Dinsan Francis points out, most of the changes are aesthetic at this point giving the Android side of things an updated design that coincides with the latest version of Android.
Below you can see the updated settings menu for Android on Chrome OS.
Functionality wise, the biggest change is how the Pixelbook presents the Google Assistant. As it sits in Stable, the Assistant launches in a window in the corner of the display. The new design brings a deeper integration for the Assistant as well as some much-needed material design tweaks.
The Google Assistant is now front and center and includes the anticipated Assistant icon in the search bar. Along with the change comes the now-familiar card style found in Google feeds, News and other products from Google.
While these changes may seem minimal, it screams volumes to Google’s commitment to Chrome OS and its future as an all-in-one platform. Android P currently exists outside of the Beta program only on the Pixel phones and Essential’s PH-1. The fact that Google would completely skip over Oreo (Android 8) and push for an update to Android Pie is big news. Especially when you consider that the tablet-first Pixel Slate will soon hit the market and Android 9’s features will feel right at home on the high-end Chrome OS tablet.
Android Pie is currently only showing up in the Canary channel and we do not, for any reason, recommend putting your device in the very unstable build of Chrome OS. I have checked other devices and it appears that, for now, it is only the Pixelbook that’s getting a slice of the Pie. The Canary channel is on version 72 at the moment so I wouldn’t expect to see Andriod Pie land on Stable too soon. Likely, it will be at the turn of the year unless developers push to get it into the release of 71 in December.
There’s quite a bit more digging I have to do in the Canary channel but we have more exciting stuff to bring you this weekend so stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe for up-to-the-minute news from the world of Chrome.
Source: Chrome Story