Two new features have now been spotted in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS 77- Bluetooth battery levels and improved parental controls.
Chrome OS is still a relatively new platform and the change of pace appears pretty fast, with new changes made every other day. Android handsets can already show the battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices, and needless to say, this feature is quite helpful, so it's great to see it arrive on Chrome OS.
With battery indicators on Chrome OS, users will be able to see what levels connected Bluetooth devices such as keyboard and headphones are on instead of having to eyeball it.
A new flag which popped up sometimes back first heralded the arrival of this feature and it has now gone live. If you want to see it for yourself, you will have to enable the flag by entering the following command in your URL bar and rebooting the system: chrome://flags/#show-bluetooth-device-battery
As good as the feature sounds, it doesn't appear to be functioning right now and it seems like Google is still working on it. It is also not known how many devices are supported right now but we can expect to find out more information in the coming days.
In addition to this, it was also reported a few days back that Chromebook will also get a wideband voice codec to improve audio during voice chats. This feature is also related to Bluetooth. While Google appears to be interested in leveraging Bluetooth connectivity, Chromebook users on the interweb have reported various problems with Bluetooth such as frequent disconnections.
Without a sturdy Bluetooth connection, any Bluetooth related features will be kind of useless, so hopefully the Chromium team will work on this.
Moving on, the Chrome OS also shows a new section for parental controls that also includes the Family Link app. Family Link was already available on Chromebooks via the Android app so this feature is not really new but it has now found a home in the settings menu.
This functionality also seems like a work in progress so it isn't fully functional right now. However, if you are game to try it out in its semi-baked state, you can enable it using this command: chrome://flags/#enable-parental-controls-settings
Please note that in order to enable any flag, you must be in the Canary developer channel. This means that users in the Beta and stable channel cannot enable this functionality right now. But then again, it's barely working right now, so you are not missing out on anything.
As a quick primer, the Family Link app is targeted at parents looking to lay down some digital ground rules for their kids. It helps guardians set screen time limits and website restrictions.
Chrome OS has slowly gained a following in the market, thanks to the fact that it's a light platform and less taxing on hardware resources. It also doesn't require high-end processors and huge amounts of memory and storage space. Google has slowly been working to bring the Chrome OS on par with other operating systems in the market and make it more useful for users who take productivity seriously.