Yesterday, Google officially released version 100 of its Chrome browser, and today it follows up with the release of version 100 of Chrome OS. While there weren’t many great features for Chrome 100 other than a new icon, the update for Chrome OS brings a handful of changes that are worth noting. Probably the most important is a redesigned app launcher experience. When you press the “all” button (where Caps Lock is on most keyboards) or click on the circle icon at the bottom left of the screen, the new launcher in a window on the left side of your screen pulls up instead than to cover everything. your open windows. Longtime Chrome OS users may remember that this was how the launcher acted years ago.
In addition to that visual change, Google has made it easier to organize the apps you have installed. You can choose to sort them alphabetically or by color, and new applications you add will stick with that organization chart. From a functional perspective, Google has also improved search results that emerge when you type in the launcher, and automatically pulls up information for your query without opening more details in a browser window. The search box can also look through all your open tabs if you’re trying to find a specific site you’ve had open.
The next new feature is just for fun – the camera application can now create GIFs. When you open the camera, you can choose to record a five-second video that will be automatically converted into a GIF. Once done, you can share it with almost any application on your Chromebook or send it to an Android phone using the nearby sharing feature.
Google has also improved the dictation feature on Chromebooks. You used to be able to dictate text in any text field on your device, but today Google is adding some editing features. Chrome OS now recognizes commands like “delete” to delete the last letter or “move to the next character” to customize where your cursor is. Asking for “help” will also compile a list of commands you can use if you are not sure how to perform a specific task with your voice.
As is usually the case with most Chrome OS updates, these are not exactly earth-shattering updates. But since Google now updates Chrome OS and the Chrome browser every four weeks, they are not all going to bring great features. But there are still some quality of life improvements that are worth checking out as soon as the update hits your device – I’ve always found running the applications in my launcher a bit cumbersome, so I hope today’s update makes things a little better.