Google Releases Chrome OS 70

Posted on October 26, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook with 14 Comments

Image source: 9to5Google

Google today announced the release of Chrome OS 70, bringing a dramatically improved UI for touch-based Chromebooks, tablets, and 2-in-1s.

Or, at least I’m told it does. According to the Google release notes, Chrome OS 70 looks fairly innocuous, offering just Autofill improvements, user controls for extension site access, a new search field in accessibility settings, and an AV1 decoder.

But as 9to5Google reports, Chrome OS 70 offers much more than that. And key among the new features is a “thoroughly revamped” new user interface for touch-based Chromebooks, tablets, and 2-in-1s.

This new UI includes newly redesigned app shelf and control panels, a Gboard-based virtual keyboard that can optionally float, and a new Camera app.

I’m looking forward to seeing this for myself, but the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 I’m currently testing reports that Chrome 69 is still the latest OS version. Perhaps it will hit later today.


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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Google Releases Chrome OS 70”

  1. ArvindV

    Better recent/multi tasking screen with drag drop support

    Android App shortcut support

    Floating keyboard.

  2. dcdevito

    Along those lines Chrome OS now supports SMB file shares.

  3. joran_nohr

    i have to say I am bit blown away over how many people that just hop on board the google train. Allowing scanning of documents, pictures, search logs and everything. I don’t think ppl think this through. Google knows just about anything about you, and they use that information to earn money.

    • StevenLayton

      In reply to Joran_Nohr:

      And I’m using their products to make my life easier or more entertaining. I think it’s (currently) a good trade.

    • eric_rasmussen

      In reply to Joran_Nohr:

      Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion also do this. You don't have access to your full credit report; creditors can see more about you than you might think, including social media contacts and their credit rating, hospitalizations, insurance claims, and so on.

      In the case of Equifax, now the entire planet has all of that information on all Americans thanks to their non-existent security practices.

      Google collects information, yes, but at least we get something in return. :)

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Joran_Nohr:

      I get bank account balance notices via Gmail. Do I care that Google may know how often that happens (for me, maybe 3/year, for my wife a bit more often)? Not really, and I haven't seen any ads for divorce lawyers yet.

      I use Google Maps. Do I care whether Google knows what I'm looking at? Since I'm fairly sure the US gov't would be tracking what maps I've looked at through Google, Bing, etc, not really, and I haven't seen any ads for any businesses in places I've used Street View.

      Do I keep financial documents on Google Drive? No. Personal photos? Yes, but there's nothing compromising, and I learned long ago not to take embarrassing photos of wife and kids lest they reciprocate. Do I care how Google might use photos of our dogs and cats? Not really.

      As for my search history, I figure it'd be far more boring than useful.

      For some people (like me), what Google offers is worth the cost of sharing some personal information. Also, since it appears you're unaware of this, it's possible to use a Chromebook/Chrome OS without using Google services or storing anything on Google Drive. It's possible to set up a Chrome OS machine to use MSFT online services, or Zoho, or several other alternatives. There are only 2 pieces of Google software which are unavoidable: the Chrome browser and the Chrome Web Store as the only mechanism to install Chrome OS apps and Chrome browser extensions.

  4. architxt

    I had the opportunity to play with Chrome OS a couple of weeks ago, for the first time. I was impressed.

    My only issue is that apart from the Pixel, the rest of the Chromebooks felt flimsy.

    One thing is for sure: Microsoft have to sort out the Windows muddle quickly or risk losing market share to an OS that is more modern, usable and integrated with people's preferred apps.

  5. eric_rasmussen

    The fact that Fuscia uses the Vulkan API makes me hope that they are targeting desktop PCs with this thing as well. If they could capture the home productivity market as well as the gaming market, it's game over for Windows. I'm so sick of Microsoft's fickle nature with regard to consumer facing products, and I'm disgusted by the endemic quality and reliability issues that plague Windows 10 release after release. Ideally, it would prod Microsoft into taking Windows seriously and we'd get a better OS in the end.

  6. hrlngrv

    Once Chrome OS supports flatpacks, they may be much more interesting alternatives to Windows.

    I'd also like to see a mechanism on Chrome OS devices with larger internal drives to set up more useful filesystem hierarchies than everything under ~/Downloads or on removable drives. I have nothing against making those user filespaces separate partitions and mounting them noexec (as Chrome OS already does with user-writable filespaces).

    • waethorn

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Flatpak isn't as widely supported as Ubuntu's own Snap format. That's what happens when one company rules a market, I'm afraid. Also, there are lots of issues with window manager integration with these new packaging formats. Applications don't always respect user configuration of the WM controls and themes, so they end up looking non-native.

      Chrome OS is a cloud-centric easy-to-use consumer-friendly operating system too, so asking to do that seems to be for adding features outside of its target niche. Why not just use a standard Linux build like Ubuntu that gives you those capabilities? You can't successfully have an OS be all things to everybody - Microsoft proves that time and time again with Windows 10.

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