Google Details New Chrome OS 78 Features

Posted on November 5, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, Chromebook, Chrome OS with 10 Comments

With Chrome OS 78 now broadly available, Google is detailing the new features coming in this release.

“One of the best parts of Chromebooks is that every new version of Chrome OS brings dozens of improvements to keep your device safe, fast and hassle-free,” Google’s Alexander Kuscher writes. “The latest version of Chrome OS includes tools to help you organize your workspace, make phone calls more easily, and print and share feedback more quickly.”

Here’s what’s new.

Virtual Desks. Chrome’s long-awaited virtual desktop feature is finally here, and it’s called Virtual Desks. It looks and works like similar features in Windows or macOS and lets you create separate desktops for projects or other related activities.

Click-to-call. Now, you can right-click a phone number when browsing the web on your Chromebook and send the number to your mobile phone.

Improved printing. While it’s not clear exactly what changed here, apparently compatible printers will automatically show up in your printer list with no setup needed. (This has pretty much been my experience.)

Easier feedback sharing. Now it’s easier to share feedback with Google: Just press and hold the power button for a second, and you’ll see a Feedback button next to the Lock and Power off buttons.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Google Details New Chrome OS 78 Features”

  1. Stooks

    .38% of Desktop users rejoice!

    • abillimore

      In reply to Stooks:


      I think it is more like 1.38% worldwide, and higher in the US. (Much) higher again in education.

    • Pungkuss

      Looks like 22% yoy increase in the USA. All other PCs are down 6%. Claims they are starting to see some penetration outside of schools.
      In reply to Stooks:


    • ErichK

      In reply to Stooks:

      I don't own a Chromebook, but ultimately sometimes you can't worry about popularity. If the device works for an individual, then it shouldn't matter how many other people use it. Windows Phone had a niche, even though there were always way more iPhones and Androids out there. Ditto Linux (at least on the desktop).


      Unless you were just making a harmless joke and I fell for it ... in that case, my bad. ?

      • Stooks

        In reply to ErichK:

        More of a joke based on the data. I personally have only seen them used in some public schools in my area. Outside of that I have never seen anyone seriously use one.

  2. beckerrt

    I really like how Google has slowly and methodically improved ChromeOS throughout the years. They've truly added fit and finish aspects and helpful features along the way. Quite a nice product, I think.

  3. xcln

    Um - somebody reminds or illuminates me - can I run a Chromebook simulation on a Windows machine with a touch sensitive screen? Or make a Chromebook out of a Windows laptop ... I recall a Thinkpad tablet being offered running either Chrome or Windows (altho you couldn;t switch from one to the other on either machine).

  4. sgbassett

    I agree about the improvements. I had one of the earlier Samsung Chromebooks. It was good, but not great. I put Linux on it to make it a more complete machine in terms of capabilities. Now, I find no particular need to install Linux on my HP Chromebook 14 x360 (i3 model). Both the hardware and the OS are much more capable and I can do much more with the device. Most of that is browser-based, but I am glad to have Android apps available for those things that don't work as well in the browser.


    It is fascinating that for most of my tasks (browsing, email, using Word online), the i3 Chromebook feels as fast or faster than my i7/16GB/512GB Thinkpad T490.