5 new Chrome OS features you should find right now

    Android could also be Google’s highest profile platform, however Chrome OS is arguably the place the place the quickest and most fun progress tends to go down lately.Every 12 months as of late, we see leaps and bounds being made in how Chromebooks work and what they’re able to doing — the varieties of applications they’re capable of run, the sorts of benefits they’re capable of supply, and the fascinating methods they’re capable of work together with Android to create a extra linked and cohesive-feeling expertise.And whereas tons o’ of us are quick to write down Chrome OS off as an irrelevant experiment, let me remind you: Those sentiments are primarily based totally on outdated myths from the platform’s earliest days. Chrome OS is sort of a decade previous now, and Chromebooks right this moment are surprisingly succesful — virtually mockingly so, given the product’s unique restricted goal. What’s extra, they’re really promoting sooner than Macs at this level, with Chrome OS representing roughly 13% of all U.S. pc shipments within the fourth quarter of 2020 in comparison with Apple’s 8.7% share, in accordance with Gartner.So, yeah: When somebody scoffs on the very concept of Chrome OS, their remark is normally much less concerning the platform’s irrelevance and extra about their very own ignorance. Chromebooks are more and more subtle and priceless productiveness instruments — and from the appears of it, their progress and growth will not be slowing down anytime quickly.Here are 5 fascinating components Google’s received cookin’ with Chrome OS proper now — together with one which’s already broadly rolled out and 4 which can be underneath growth however available, if you understand how to seek out ’em.Chrome OS function #1: A local tab supervisorThis first new Chrome OS function confirmed up simply earlier than the vacations, so you would be forgiven for not noticing — however you’d even be well-advised to keep away from overlooking it for lengthy. It’s an extremely helpful built-in system for managing your open tabs, looking ’em, and rapidly leaping from one to a different within the blink of an eye fixed.To discover it, simply click on the brand new down-facing arrow icon within the upper-right nook of any browser window — or, faster but, use the brand new Ctrl-Shift-A shortcut — and you may see a listing of all of your open tabs in that very same space of the display.JR From there, you are able to do a handful of issues:Use the arrow keys in your keyboard to maneuver the main target onto any of your open tabs
    Hit Enter to leap on to the tab you’ve got received highlighted
    Type in any time period to slim down the listing and discover a particular tab by title
    Click on any tab within the listing to open it
    Click the “x” subsequent to any tab’s title to shut it with out ever having to navigate to it
    As somebody who tends to maintain manner too many tabs open without delay — generally stretched throughout a number of digital desktops, even — that is one thing I’m particularly excited to have. And it is proper there and ready; all you’ve got gotta do is get your self within the behavior of embracing it.Chrome OS function #2: A built-in clipboard managerOn a separate however vaguely associated notice, Google’s been working for some time now on a brand new Chrome OS function that’ll allow you to look by means of all of the current stuff you’ve got copied after which paste it in wherever you are working.The Enhanced Clipboard, because it’s presently recognized, makes your 5 most not too long ago copied tidbits out there anytime you hit the Everything key (a.okay.a. the Launcher key or Search key) and v collectively.JR To give your self early entry to this function whereas it is nonetheless being refined, comply with these easy steps:Type chrome:flags into the handle bar in any open window.
    Type enhanced clipboard into the search field on the prime of the display that comes up.
    Click the button subsequent to “Enable Enhanced Clipboard” and alter its setting to Enabled.
    Click the blue Restart button on the backside of the display.
    After your Chromebook restarts, copy some textual content — any ol’ textual content — and hit the Everything key and v collectively. Let out a celebratory yip, should you’re so inclined, after which focus your foolish mind again on this web page and preserve chargin’ ahead.Chrome OS function #3: A brand new quick-access heart for informationThis subsequent function has the potential to be an enormous time-saver and productivity-booster — for enterprise use specifically but additionally for schooling or some other state of affairs the place you often end up juggling a good quantity of information. It’s a brand new quick-access heart that provides you a one-click tray for holding and simply opening current screenshots together with different essential information and folders.Once it is activated, you will see a brand new icon to the left of the clock and standing bar within the lower-right nook of your display. When you click on it, you will discover any screenshots you’ve got captured these days in addition to any information or folders that you’ve got pinned to that space.JR You can then click on on any of these gadgets for super-fast entry, with none digging or ongoing muddle required.As for the pinned information and folders, you’ll be able to add or take away gadgets from that listing throughout the common Chrome OS Files app just by right-clicking on the merchandise you need, inside the primary space of the app (not the left-hand sidebar), after which choosing “Pin to shelf” from the menu that comes up.This function, as of now, remains to be underneath growth — however identical to with the final one, you’ll be able to activate it with a 60-second adjustment:Type chrome:flags into the handle bar in any open window.
    Type holding area into the search field on the prime of the display that comes up.
    See the merchandise labeled “Quick access to screenshots, downloads, and files test”? Click the button subsequent to it and alter it to Enabled.
    Click the blue Restart button on the backside of the display.
    Once your system restarts itself, all these new components might be in place and prepared on your use. Just remember that Google remains to be referring to this selection as a “test” — so it is at all times attainable it might disappear with out warning and with out ever seeing an official launch (which is at all times true, to some extent, with these types of unreleased gadgets).Chrome OS function #4: Support for Nearby SharingGoogle’s Nearby Sharing system for wi-fi file transfers between units confirmed up on Android final summer time — however for some purpose, the system nonetheless is not supported on Chrome OS units. And for these of us who personal each an Android telephone and a Chromebook, that severely limits its usefulness.Well, be restricted no extra: You can really allow Nearby Sharing assist in your Chromebook proper now — and when you do, you will discover a nifty new icon for it inside your pc’s Quick Settings panel.JR Click that, then share any method of file out of your Android telephone, choose the “Nearby” possibility on the prime of the Android sharing interface, and choose your Chrome OS gadget from the listing that comes up:JR And all that is left is to just accept the switch on the Chromebook aspect. Once you do, no matter file you had been sending might be in your pc instantly — no wires, no worries, no fuss in any way.JR The system theoretically allows you to share stuff from a Chromebook to an Android telephone, too, however that a part of the system remains to be a little bit wonky for me as of this second (a aspect impact of this being a still-under-development function, I’d think about). Even so, although, the Android to Chromebook a part of the equation is fairly darn helpful to have.If you wish to strive it out, listed below are the steps to take:Type chrome:flags into the handle bar in any open window.
    Type close by sharing into the search field on the prime of the display that comes up.
    Click the button subsequent to “Nearby Sharing” and alter its setting to Enabled.
    Click the blue Restart button on the backside of the display.
    After your system restarts, simply search for that Nearby Sharing icon within the Quick Settings panel — the field of choices that pops up if you click on the clock space within the lower-right nook of the desktop — to get began.Chrome OS function #5: Enhanced media controlsSpeaking of Android-connected options, Google’s additionally within the midst of bringing a newly consolidated media participant into the Chrome OS universe — one thing that clearly takes quantity of inspiration from the brand new common media participant launched in Android 11 final 12 months.Just like on the Android aspect, the brand new Chrome OS media participant places controls for audio or video taking part in from any supply right into a single, streamlined area as an alternative of getting every set of controls exist as its personal standalone merchandise in your notification panel. In the Chromebook atmosphere, the brand new participant seems inside a particular icon that pops as much as the left of the clock and standing bar space anytime one thing is taking part in.JR If you actually wish to get fancy, you may give it a extra trendy interface — and likewise give it a delightfully helpful picture-in-picture perform that makes it attainable to pop any taking part in video out into its personal floating field on demand. That field then sits on prime of all of your different stuff so you’ll be able to preserve watching your Very Important Work-Related Video (since that is the one kind of video you would be watching in the course of the work day, in fact) while you go about your different duties.JR Ready to present your self this still-under-development improve? Here’s the trick:Type chrome:flags into the handle bar in any open window.
    Type international media into the search field on the prime of the display that comes up.
    Click the button subsequent to each “Global Media Controls for Chrome OS” and “Global Media Controls Modern UI” and alter each of their settings to Enabled.
    Click the blue Restart button on the backside of the display.
    Now simply go play some audio or video from any web site or app — or any variety of web sites and apps — and watch what occurs.Not unhealthy for an “irrelevant experiment,” proper?Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter to get extra sensible suggestions, private suggestions, and plain-English perspective on the information that issues.[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]

    Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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