The features in question are, of course, diverse. Some of the headlining new additions are the long-awaited Phone Hub and Wi-Fi syncing. But there are plenty of small changes in store too. For instance, the clipboard is getting a redesign that allows up to five items to be accessed after copying. That means that there’s no longer going to be any need to jump back and forth between copy-and-paste. That new feature will be tucked under the launcher key.
Quick Answers is making an appearance here too. That, as its name implies, automatically suggests information about words when they’ve been right-clicked. Or, rather, “alt” or two-finger clicked on a Chromebook. For example, the Quick Answers will include definitions, translations, or even unit conversions.
Finally, icons for built-in applications are getting refreshed as well. And Select-to-speak screen-reading will now let users control speed and pausing in real-time.
Google adds Phone Hub, Wi-Fi Sync, and Screen Capture to your Chromebook too
As mentioned earlier, none of those is a headlining feature though. The biggest change here is going to be Phone Hub. With Phone Hub active in the Settings menu, users have full access to their Android smartphone on their Chromebook. Starting with the ability to see tabs opened on the phone, check battery life, cell signal, and message responding. All of that’s tucked neatly behind its own icon on the Chrome OS shelf. Specifically at the lower-right-hand side of the shelf.
Phone Hub can also be set up directly from that icon on the shelf. Presumably, that’s if a phone has already been linked to the Chromebook in question.
Another interconnectivity feature is the new Wi-Fi Sync. That works across a lot more devices now, with Chromebooks now being able to connect automatically to Wi-Fi. More concisely, to connect automatically to networks already used on Android and other Chrome OS gadgets. The only prerequisite is that the devices need to have been signed in with the same account. And that users need to have their phone connected under “Connected devices” in Chrome OS settings.
The setting for Wi-Fi Sync is found in the above menu behind a toggle.
Lastly, Google is adding a new tool called “Screen Capture.” While Chromebooks have been able to take screenshots for some time now, the new tool makes it easy without the usual keyboard shortcuts. With Screen Capture, users can take screenshots and even record screens from Quick Settings. Those are, of course, found under a click on the clock area of the shelf.
Moreover, users can choose a full window, crop a specific area for capture, or capture the full screen. All with on-screen icons instead of keyboard shortcuts.
10th-anniversary features haven’t landed for every Chromebook yet, so some patience may be required
Of course, that wealth of new features for the Chromebook platform is going to be slow to roll. Not just because Chromebook updates are always a bit sluggish but also because the platform has grown massively in 10 years.
There are simply more Chrome OS gadgets to be updated and this is a big update. None of the new features has arrived yet on any Android Headlines staff Chromebooks, as of this writing. Presumably, because these updates are expected for Chrome OS 89. That’s slated to roll out sometime over the next week or so.