Just a week after releasing Chrome version 84 to the desktop, Google is beginning to roll out Chrome OS 84 that brings with it a few new features. These features include enhancements to the Overview mode for better split-screen usage, improvements to the virtual keyboard, and added capability to the ChromeVox accessibility feature.
The first major improvement is being made to the Overview mode that lets users see all open windows. The UI now allows for apps to be dragged and placed on either side of the screen for split view. On a multi-monitor setup, the feature now lets users drag apps to the secondary monitor seamlessly.
Next, the virtual keyboard is receiving the ability to be resized. You can do this by dragging the corners of the floating keyboard to choose the preferred size. Until now, the feature was hidden and could be only enabled through a flag. However, with version 84, the enhancements are being made public.
In the photography department, Chrome OS will now let you capture images using the volume buttons as a shutter release key. You can hit the volume up or down buttons to capture an image or start/stop recording videos in the Camera app. Recorded videos will also be saved in the MP4 (H.264) format to make it easier to use these videos in other apps.
The firm is also introducing a new Explore app that replaces the Get Help app on Chromebooks. The new offering not only provides improved tips and tricks about the device but also features a ‘Perks’ section that provides links to offers. One of the offers for U.S. customers includes a free 100GB storage perk through Google One for one year.
Other improvements coming to Google’s OS include additions to the Linux (Beta) environment that lets users control microphone access in Settings, enhancements to the ChromeVox screen reader that makes it possible to search within menus, and more.
Some updates to the Chrome browser also improve usability and security enhancements. The browser now supports app shortcuts for PWAs, making it easier to launch quick tasks right from pinned web apps. As for security features, the browser now blocks insecure downloads on HTTPS sites. There are also some improvements to the resource utilization of Chrome tabs in the background.
Since the rollout has just begun, not all users will see the update on their Chromebooks right away. It will take a few days for the update to appear for all users. You can check if there are updates ready for your device by heading to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for Updates.