Today is the day that Chrome OS 85 is scheduled to begin rolling out and as of late, Google has been Johnny on the spot with releases. While we haven’t seen anything official about the update going live, Google has announced some new features for Chrome OS. Presumably, these features will be part of the update when it does happen. These updates may seem relatively insignificant in relation to the past few Chrome OS versions but they bring some very useful features to users that’s what we love to see. We’ll keep looking for an actual device to update and let you know when it looks like the rollout is live. In the meantime, here’s what’s new and headed our way in Chrome OS.
Syncing Wi-Fi passwords across devices may not be the first thing you think of when you’re logging into a new Chromebook. Most of us are used to uses a device for the first time and setting up the network before logging in. However, with Wi-Fi Sync, you’ll wish Google had done this years ago. The new feature will sync Wi-Fi credentials to your profile “keychain” and carry it to any other device you log into. It may seem like a minor thing but think about all the times you went to your parents’ house and had to get the insanely long password off the back of the router that’s behind the television where dust bunnies go to die. Yeah, it’s a pain. Wi-Fi Sync is a brilliant addition to an ecosystem already designed to keep your data synced across devices.
Simpler, smarter search
Currently, searching for an item in the Chrome OS settings menu is limited to exact search terms. For example, if I search “wi-fi” on Chrome OS 84, I will see any wi-fi-related settings highlighted in yellow. If I change the search term to “wifi,” I get nothing. Chrome OS 85 will bring a more intuitive settings search and even give you suggestions for items that may be related to the setting your are seeking. Building on this new feature, future updates will add this search feature to the app launcher. Google states that this is part of the company’s goal to make the Launcher an “everything button.”
With so many working and learning from home, Chrome OS 85 will bring more granular controls to your microphone. Users will be able to open the audio settings in the system tray and manually adjust mic levels with a convenient slider. Perfect if your audience is having a little trouble hearing you.
Chrome OS recently changed the default file type the camera to .mp4. This was a much-needed update as this file type is supported by the majority of devices we use on a daily basis. To make the camera even more capable, Chrome OS 85 will add the ability to pause and start video recording so you can create one continuous video file without taking any breaks. You’ll also be able to capture still images while recording video which is a feature that should be a part of any decent camera.
As I said, Chrome OS 85 is scheduled to arrive today. As of the publishing of this article, we haven’t seen any sign that the server has updated any devices to 85 but we’ll keep a close watch and update you when it begins to roll out. I’m anxious to see what other features may come along for the ride. Did you get the update to Chrome OS 85? Drop a comment below and let us know which Chromebook you’re rocking.