Google has officially released Chrome OS 100, the latest version of the operating system that powers Chromebooks. It brings some exciting new features, including a new app launcher, updates to voice dictation, a useful GIF maker, and more.
We’re outlining some of the most exciting features of Chrome OS 100 here. Don’t miss out if you own a Chromebook or plan to buy one.
Redesigned App Launcher
Chrome OS 100 ships with a brand new app launcher that has been redesigned to be more intuitive and user-friendly. It takes design cues from the Windows Start menu and opens in the bottom left corner instead of the center. It addresses many users’ concerns about the old launcher blocking the active window.
The search functionality has greatly improved and offers more detailed information about apps, files, and queries. You can get web search results, weather updates, and calculations directly from the launcher menu, a big plus for productivity. You can also sift through Chrome tabs much more accurately using the quick search.
Plus, you can arrange apps by name, color, or manual order, and newly downloaded apps are re-arranged automatically. The new launcher is expected to roll out to all Chromebooks soon, and you can manually enable it under Chrome by doing the following:
Editing With Voice Dictation
Voice dictation has become a popular feature in some Google products, including Pixel phones and Chromebooks. Chrome OS 100 improves this functionality by giving more control to the user. You can now edit directly using voice. For example, saying “delete” will delete the last character, and “move to next character” will adjust the cursor accordingly.
To learn more about voice edits, say “help,” and Chrome OS will provide tips on using them effectively. Note that you need to activate the “Dictation” setting beforehand. You can do this by pressing the Everything key + D.
Creating Personal GIFs
You can now create and share personalized GIFs instead of going through websites to turn photos into GIFs. Open your Chromebook Camera app and go to “Video“, and you will see a toggle option that lets you switch to the “GIF” mode.
Start recording by enabling it. You can capture clips for up to five seconds. Once created, you can share the GIF via emails, apps, or Nearby Share.
School Accounts for Family Link
Chrome OS 100 allows parents to add and manage their kid’s school accounts through Family Link. Setting up accounts and access to Google Classroom has been made easier for supervised Chromebooks. Moreover, the revamped YouTube app for Chrome OS adds support for offline playback, allowing children to learn even without internet connections.
Updated Android Container
Chrome OS has been trying to offer a native Android experience for a long time. OS 100 finally switches from ARC (Android Runtime for Chrome) to ARCVM, the latest Android Runtime framework for Chrome. This should bring some much-anticipated changes and make running Android apps on Chromebooks easier.
As the name suggests, ARCVM uses virtual machines (VMs) for increased isolation and is expected to improve Android apps’ performance, security, and maintainability in Chromebooks.
Chromebook Insights for Admins
Google has added a new reporting feature in Chrome OS 100 that lets admins monitor and supervise enrolled devices at ease. The new Chrome Management Telemetry API gives detailed information about device performance and allows admins to create personalized reports.
Chrome OS 100: A New Experience
Chrome OS 100 marks a shift in how users interact with their Chromebooks, mainly via the redesigned application launcher. It also brings a few exciting new features, such as editing with voice dictation and creating personalized GIFs. Overall, Chromebook users will find the latest release interesting and fun.
Even if you don’t own a Chromebook, you can enjoy the benefits of Chrome OS by installing Chrome OS Flex on your computer.
Chrome OS Flex Lets You Turn a PC or Mac Into a Chromebook
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