Google is all set to continue releasing Chromebook and Chrome updates following a brief hiatus, with some big changes to the schedule. That's based on a recently-reported post to the company's official Chromium Blog. The announcement follows the company's decision to completely cancel all updates from Chrome version M82. That cancellation applied to all channels and both the browser and Chrome OS.
Now, updates to the Chrome Canary, Dev, and Beta Channels has or will resume starting this week. But the company is going to still skip Chrome version M82. The unusual circumstances mean that Google's Chrome Beta Channel, across all platforms, is moving to Chrome M81. Chrome M83 is being shifted to version M83.
Stable Channel updates will continue next week, starting with key security fixes and other critical patches. Those will still be released under the M80 version number. Chrome M81 will see release starting April 7. Version M83 is tentatively scheduled for mid-May — on May 19.
Chrome version M83 is going to go be massive
Exact details for what's set to be included in Chrome M83 are not yet available. But it is going to be a comparatively massive update. That's because, since Google is skipping version 82, Chrome M83 is going to include all of the work that was set for the intermediate version prior to the cancellation of updates. Summarily, Google is including Chrome 83 and Chrome 82 updates in a single update.
Chrome 82 was expected to include a number of key changes, including an updated media control panel. That was expected to include a picture-in-picture button, allowing system-level use of that feature on-demand. The update was additionally predicted to include a security fix to halt downloads of insecure mixed content.
Chrome 81, conversely, is expected to deliver a Files app update, among other changes. That alteration is predicted to bring the dedicated file management tool's design up-to-date. More directly, that should be updated to match the material design of Android and other Chrome OS UI elements.
Regardless of what is included, specifically, Chrome 83 is going to include a much larger number of changes than previous iterations.
Future Chromebook and Chrome updates are still uncertain
Now, Google says the release timeframes for Chromebook and Chrome updates are still not set in stone going forward. The initial pause in updates was the result of remote working and stay at home policies the company put in place. Namely, the company didn't have enough workers to actively maintain the project.
The circumstances behind that aren't necessarily fixed. So there's no set date for the release of updates on the M84 branch. In fact, there's no update on the timing of any future updates. Prior to the announcement, Google typically plotted out launches for at least two incoming updates. The search giant plans a more tentative schedule for the foreseeable future and will release further news in accordance with that.
As is always the case, Chrome OS updates appear set to follow around a week behind the browser update. So Chrome M83 should arrive on Google's laptops around May 26. However, Chrome 81 appears to be scheduled for release on all platforms on April 7.