Chrome OS 74 adds audio output to Linux apps, improved USB camera support

Google has released a new major update to its Chrome OS platform, bringing it to version 74 and aligning it with the current release of the Chrome browser. This release comes with a few improvements to PDF handling and Linux apps.

One of the biggest changes, especially if you use Linux apps on Chrome OS, is that they can now output audio, which is a pretty significant part of using many apps. Android app users will also be happy to know that the Camera from Google's smartphone OS now supports USB cameras.

Rounding out the biggest pieces of news is the addition of support for PDF annotations in the PDF viewer that's part of the Chrome browser. Here's the full list of new features and improvements provided by Google:

  • Send system performance profiling data along with feedback reports
  • Linux apps can output audio
  • USB camera support for the Android Camera app
  • Removal of deprecated supervised users
  • [Accessibility] ChromeVox developer log options: There are now a number of developer options available within the ChromeVox Options page which enable developers to turn on logging for speech and other items
  • Support for new files and folders under the “My files” local root
  • Users can quickly access their most recent apps and Google searches by clicking on the search box
  • Annotate documents from the Chrome PDF Viewer

As noted by 9to5Google, this release also includes a new search experience, which better integrates the Google Assistant with local and web searches. There's also a new UI for Google Assistant, with a new background blur effect to make it stand out from other UI elements.

As for security updates, Chrome OS 74 includes the SafeSetID Linux Security Module (LSM), in both Chrome OS and the Linux kernel. As Google puts it, this lets the system "safely manage the users under which their programs run without requiring powerful system privileges".

The latest version of Chrome OS is now rolling out to "most Chrome OS devices", and it should show up for everyone over the coming weeks.

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