On Chrome OS’s 10th anniversary, Google has begun rolling out Chrome OS 89 loaded with a slew of cool new features. The latest OS update for Chromebooks brings various usability enhancements that will become available for all eligible devices in the coming days. The new features have started rolling out via an update starting today. Here’s what Chrome OS 89 has in store for you:
Chrome OS 89 Brings Phone Hub
Celebrating the 10th birthday of Chrome OS, Google has introduced Phone Hub, a new feature that lets users control their paired Android devices from Chromebooks. With this, users can respond to text messages, check their phone’s battery status and cellular signal, turn on/off the Wi-Fi hotspot, and even locate their Android device. All of this can now be done just using your Chromebook and pair your phone with it.
The feature appears next to the status information pill tapping which opens a panel at the bottom-right showing key information/status of your phone. You can start taking key actions like turning your phone to Silent/DND mode, enable hotspot, locate/ring a lost phone, and more. You can also view your Chrome history and tabs from your Android device on your Chromebook. In addition to this, you will also receive notifications and can even reply to messages.
Nearby Share and Wi-Fi Sync
Another feature that’s coming to Chrome OS with this update is Nearby Share. This feature was earlier available for Android phones and now it is coming to Chromebooks as well. It’ll allow you to transfer files between Android and other Chromebooks. Also, the Wi-Fi Sync feature has come to share network credentials between Android and Chrome OS.
Native Screen Capture Feature
Another major feature that Chrome OS 89 has introduced is a “Screen capture” tool that will allow users to record the screen of their Chromebooks. It could be very helpful for educators who want to record what’s on their displays for lessons. Users can launch it from the new Quick Settings shortcut and can decide whether they want to take a screenshot or capture a video. Further, the captured screenshots and saved files now appear next to Phone Hub in a “Tote.” Another “Pin to shelf” option has also been added to the Files app that users can use to quickly access new images.
Annotate Tool in Gallery
Chrome OS 89 has added a new “Annotate” capability to the Gallery tool with five sizes and over 20 colors. The sizes range from extra thin to thick and can be used to mark different things.
Apart from the addition of new features, Chrome OS 89 had changed the app icons to circular and also added new icons for Calculator and Canvas. Applicable to both the shelf and app launcher, the change fits most first-party Chrome and Android icons. However, there’s some issue with other icons and don’t fit perfectly into the rounded shape.
With the new update, the tech giant has also tried to make doing some things easier, like media controls are now directly integrated into Quick Settings. Users can pin the media player directly to the shelf.
If you’re a Chromebook owner then you can also update your OS to the latest version to get these new features. If you haven’t received the Chrome OS 89 yet then you may have to wait for some more days till it rolls out for your device.
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