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Chrome OS 79 brings audio playback controls to the lock screen

As tends to happen every six weeks, Google has released a new version of Chrome OS to supported devices, now bringing the operating system to version 79. The last update of 2019 brings a couple of improvements for media controls and app settings.

For starters, media controls will now show up in the Chrome OS lock screen, so you can pause, play, and skip without unlocking your device. This will work with media apps like YouTube Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and more. It also works with Chrome, so while Google says it's for music and podcasts, you should be able to make it work with any videos you watch online, too.

Google has also added a unified app management page to the Chrome OS settings. Under the new "Manage your apps" page, you'll be able to see all of the apps installed on your device, and from there, you can head into the individual settings for each app to grant or deny permissions, adjust notifications, and so on. This isn't too different from the Apps section on the Android Settings app. Google says it will make more improvements to app management on Chrome OS in the future.

That's all that Google notes for this release, but 9to5Google has spotted some additional changes. There's a new UI for Overview - Chrome OS's task switcher - on tablets, so you can scroll through your open apps rather than have them all on-screen at the same time. Some improvements have also been made to Virtual Desks so that links you click always open in the current workspace.

There's also a new tab freezing feature for the Chrome browser, which will freeze tabs that have been inactive for 5 minutes or longer to save resources, and Google has begun implementing DNS-over-HTTPS to enhance the security of DNS connections. It's only available for 1% of users, though.

The latest version of Chrome OS is rolling out now and should be available to all supported devices over the next few days.

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