December 8, 2023

Google launched ChromeOS 117 as we speak, and it’s a significant replace with a brand new Materials You design, improved multitasking options, shelf-based video conferencing options, and way more.

Typically talking, Google delivers a brand new ChromeOS replace each month, and whereas these updates are full OS updates—what Microsoft delivers for Home windows as soon as per 12 months through Function Updates—they aren’t in any respect disruptive or time-consuming to put in: The Chromebook will reboot and return to the desktop rapidly so you may get again to work. And Google can even often ship interim safety fixes and software program updates which might be even much less disruptive.

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However this month’s replace is greater than ordinary and whereas this isn’t a proper cadence, in case you take a look at Google’s What’s New with Chromebook? website, you possibly can see greater units of updates typically arrive as soon as per quarter. And that is most undoubtedly a kind of.

The most important and most evident change is the brand new Materials You design, which got here to Android 12 in 2021 (and was improved significantly in Android 13). With this new design, your wallpaper is augmented by a set of computerized and customizable accent colours that can now present up throughout the system, in locations like Fast settings, the shelf (the ChromeOS Taskbar), window title bars, and extra. It may be fairly hanging and even muted, relying in your wallpaper and accent coloration set decisions. (And sure, you possibly can flip it off.)

(Oddly, this theming doesn’t prolong to Android apps but, however that’s as a result of these apps are nonetheless working on Android 11. This could change when that subsystem is up to date to Android 13. When will that be? “Quickly.”)

ChromeOS 117 additionally introduces a Snap-like multitasking UI that seems if you mouse-over the Maximize button within the higher proper of any window: The ensuing pop-up allows you to select between Break up, Partial, Full, and Float window format choices. You may also show these decisions by typing LAUNCHER + Z. (The ChromeOS Launcher button, generally known as the Search or Every thing button, is just like the Home windows key on PCs.)

ChromeOS already affords system-wide webcam and microphone toggles on the shelf, however this new launch provides a “Be a part of” button to the shelf-based calendar pop-up that seems proper earlier than any assembly that’s scheduled in Google Calendar and has a gathering hyperlink. This allows you to be a part of the assembly, irrespective of which service, with out having to first open the Calendar app.

ChromeOS 117 additionally provides adaptive charging on supported Chromebooks, as we see in Android and Apple’s cell platforms, an improved Clipboard that now shows extra info if you view the clipboard by typing LAUNCHER + V, extra GIFs within the emoji picker, and several other different extra new options.