Google is Bringing a Video Editor and Virtual Desks to Chromebooks

Google detailed today new productivity features coming to Chromebooks over the next few months. The latest additions include new video editing features in the Google Photos app, virtual desks support, as well as updates for the Gallery app and other preinstalled Chrome OS apps.

Coming this fall, Google Photos’ new movie editor will provide a lightweight solution for doing video editing on Chromebooks. The app will be able to suggest themes and people to users and then intelligently create a movie from relevant video clips and photos. The app will also support the Real Tone filters ( Google introduced earlier this year.

If the Google Photos app should be versatile enough for basic video editing, Chromebooks users are also getting LumaFusion, a professional-grade video editing app that’s quite popular on iOS. LumaFusion’s multitrack video editor lets you add graphics, visual effects, transitions and distortions, audio tracks and sound effects, narration, color grading and more,“ explained Alexander Kuscher, Director of ChromeOS Software.

GIF walks through the steps of creating a movie from a suggested theme on Google Photos. “Friendship movie” is selected, then two people are chosen – from there, a movie is produced using clips of these people.

Other built-in Chrome OS apps are also getting new features. Google is adding PDF editing features to the Gallery app next week, and it will allow users to easily fill out forms, sign documents, and add text annotations. The Screencast app will also let all users record and share transcribed videos and presentations.

Google is also bringing light and dark themes to Chromebooks. Similar to what Apple did on iOS and macOS, there will be an “auto” setting to let the OS automatically switch between light and dark themes depending on the time of day. Google is also adding a selection of dynamic wallpapers that will change throughout the day.

Lastly, Chromebooks are also getting support for virtual desks, a feature that power users have been enjoying on Windows and macOS for years. Virtual desks will let users group apps together to focus on a particular task. It will possible to save, close, and re-open an entire desk and all of its windows apps when needed.

A couple of years ago, it was pretty easy to dismiss Chromebooks as glorified web browsing machines, but Google is slowly but surely adding core features that would make the transition from Windows, macOS, or any Linux distribution easier. Earlier this month, Google also announced the general availability of Chrome OS Flex, a free version of Chrome OS that can be installed on any PC or Mac.

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Conversation 5 comments

  • nsemrau

    27 July, 2022 - 2:14 pm

    <p>Gentle reminder that you do not swith from a Linux distribution to Chrome OS, because Chrome OS <em>is </em>a Linux distribution.</p>

  • rmlounsbury

    Premium Member
    27 July, 2022 - 6:20 pm

    <p>I would say at this point ChromeOS covers most uses cases for a typical user. With the addition of Linux containers it can handle a fair amount of use cases for power user. Don’t sleep on on what Google is doing with ChromeOS.</p>

  • christianwilson

    Premium Member
    27 July, 2022 - 6:39 pm

    <p>I’ve been watching the progress of ChromeOS and I would definitely consider one for my personal use. At work? No. But my needs are far less demanding at home. </p>

  • anoldamigauser

    Premium Member
    28 July, 2022 - 12:05 pm

    <p>Microsoft ignores this at their own peril.</p><p><br></p><p>ChromeOS is more than good enough for most users, and the ease of support makes it a no-brainer for the K-12 education market. It is good enough for many small businesses, and there are certainly enterprises that could take advantage of the ease of deployment and maintenance. None of these use cases depends on backward compatibility with Windows or Win32 applications.</p><p><br></p><p>They needed Windows 10X without the containers and complexity. Instead they brought out Windows 11.</p>

  • johndehope3

    28 July, 2022 - 1:45 pm

    <p>I’m genuinely confused. Is this a feature for Chrome OS, Chrome OS Flex, or ChromeBooks? Those are three different things, in my mind.</p>


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