Google has announced the release of Chrome OS 90, which brings several useful new features to Chromebook users.
“Chromebooks are designed to be powerful and easy-to-use devices,” Google’s Alexander Kuscher writes in the announcement post. “In our latest release, your Chromebook is getting new helpful features that make it easier to get answers, troubleshoot, scan files, and more.”
Here’s what’s new in Chrome OS 90, which is rolling out now.
More answers in the Launcher. The Chrome OS Launcher is somewhat similar to the Windows Start menu, and it has an integrated search capability that spans the Chromebook’s local files, your Google Drive storage, your apps, and more. In Chrome OS 90, search in the Launcher now provides more answers in the form of calculations, the weather forecast, word definitions, stock prices, and the like. “Just tap the Everything button and type ‘weather’ or your math question into the search bar, and the result will automatically pop up,” Kuscher says.
Diagnostic app. This new Chrome OS app runs tests and checks the status of your Chromebook’s battery, processor, and RAM. “If you notice your battery is draining faster than you’d expect, you can run a battery discharge test right in the Diagnostics app,” Kuscher adds. “You’ll also get links to relevant support articles, and you can save the test results in a session log to share with customer support – if you end up needing it.”
Document scanning. Chrome OS 90 also adds a new Scan app that you can use to digitize and save important paper-based documents. You can scan to your Chromebook using a compatible printer/scanner using Wi-Fi or USB, but not Bluetooth.
Live Captions. A new Live Captions feature is arriving on Chromebooks in the coming weeks and will provide automatic real-time captions for media with audio. To enable it, open Chromebook settings and navigate to Accessibility.