Google to Finally Document Chrome OS Updates

Posted on August 14, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook with 15 Comments

While Google has always been pretty transparent about Chrome updates, it’s been less so about Chrome OS. That’s changing.

For those unfamiliar, Chrome OS is updated on the same 6-week schedule as Chrome, and, yes, there is an open-source Chromium OS project that provides its underpinnings, just as Chromium does for Chrome. To date, Google has handled documenting each Chrome OS release similarly to how it does so for its browser: It provides a little bit of information ahead of time and then starts discussing big new end-user features after the fact.

The problem, of course, is that Chrome OS is an operating system. And when users are prompted once every six weeks to reboot the machine and install an update, Google has never explained the changes that necessitated the interruption.

Technical users and developers have always been able to find out about some changes from the Chromium Blog, which covers Chrome (across all platforms) as well as Chrome OS. Likewise, the Chrome Releases blog simply documents each release across the various release channels. And those posts sometimes link to information that end-users might actually find useful. For example, Google documented the recent release of Chrome OS 76, which adds Automatic Clicks, new media controls, and the ability to manage multiple Google accounts from a Chromebook.

But now, Google is going to be more proactive in alerting Chromebook users about the changes in each release. It has created a new Release Notes PWA (Progressive Web App) that will appear when you sign-in to Chrome OS after a release update. This document will also be available via the About page in Chrome OS Settings if you wish to view it at a later time.

The Chrome OS Release Notes news was first reported by Chrome Story. And you can find the first version of the Release Notes document here.