Chrome OS 90 Is Here & It’s Packed With New User Features
The update to Chrome OS 90 is rolling out now and it’s reportedly delivering some of the biggest features yet released on the platform.
Now, the three biggest additions to Chromebook firmware are the Diagnostics app, Live Caption, and the Scan app. The latter, of course, has been missing since Google first added printer support to Chromebooks and does just what its branding implies. Namely, it lets users access the scan functionality of their wireless or wired printers. Complete with the device, file type, and resolution options.
Diagnostics is fairly straightforward too, although users will need to search for it in the launcher to find it. The app identifies the device, with various information about the device. For example, it can run a discharge test on a Chromebook and notify users about the capacity, health, cycle count, and more. It can perform similar functions for the CPU and Memory too. And users can save the log from any diagnostic session if they need to.
Finally, Live Caption is the same here as is on desktop platforms. Found in the Settings app under the Advanced segment of Accessibility, Live Caption transcribes speech for media played back in Chrome and Chrome OS.
What else is new for your Chromebook with the Chrome OS 90 update?
Smaller changes are part of this update to Chrome OS 90 too, such as the deprecation of AMR-NB, AMR-WB, and GSM audio codecs or the decision to swap out “People” in the account manager for “Accounts” for clearer readability. Google is also changing things up so that Google Maps and YouTube open as standalone apps. Previously, they’d opened as tabs. Although that can be changed with a right-click on the app icon on the launcher shelf.
But other minor changes are in place too that should prove more widely useful. For instance, Google’s search tool in the launcher menu — behind the circle-icon on the shelf — now shows inline results. Specifically, that’s for weather, word definitions, stock prices, and calculations. So users can type in just about any related terms and they’ll see the results without having to perform a full search.
Users can also enable offline access for Google’s G Suite tools — such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides. That’s directly from the Drive folder in the Files app.
Last but not least, Works With Chromebook-certified docks and accessories can now be updated through Chrome OS.
When will you see the update?
Now, this update is rolling out right now but users may not see it just yet. As always, the Chrome OS update cycle tends to be a slow-rolling cycle. And that means that it may be a week or two before every user sees their Chromebooks brought up to date.