Google Improving Chromebook Security With New Features

Chromebooks definitely aren't generally considered as insecure devices but that doesn't mean Google's developers aren't hard at work coming up with new ways to make the Chromebook operating system even more secure than it already is. Namely, the latest Chrome Dev update which recently rolled out, adds the option of securing a Chromebook laptop in a few keystrokes and unlocking it with a PIN code. The new "Quick Lock" feature isn't unlike what Windows 10 has been offering for some time now.

This information comes directly from Google's François Beaufort who recently revealed that the so-called "quick lock" feature can be activated by manually activating a Chrome flag "chrome://flags/#quick-unlock-pin" on a Chromebook running the latest version of Chrome OS Dev update. After that's done, restart your device and navigate to the Chrome Material Design settings menu, click on the Screen Lock option and you'll be able to set up a Lock Screen PIN for your Chrome OS laptop. When all is said and done, you'll be able to quickly lock your device with the "🔍 + L" shortcut and unlock it with the said PIN.

Beaufort also revealed that the Quick Lock function will soon make its way to the standard Chrome settings page but hasn't specified what "soon" exactly means. As Chrome OS is an open source operating system, you can review the code which makes this Quick Lock functionality possible on Chromium.org. If you've ever used a Windows 10 machine, you'll be right at home with this new Chrome feature as Microsoft implemented pretty much the same thing in the latest iteration of its OS last year.

In related news, Google has recently announced that it is ending support for Chrome apps on Windows, OS X, and Linux with no real alternatives. Basically, it seems like the Chromium project is refocusing its efforts on its core audience after failing to grab major attention of non-Chromebook users. Fortunately, this change at least won't be a sudden one so that users have time to adapt. Namely, Google is planning on discontinuing Chrome apps on major PC operating systems sometime in early 2018 after the Chrome Web Store stops displaying apps on non-Chrome devices in late 2017.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]