Sometimes, the best cogent adventure is additionally the easiest to miss.
While everyone’s focused on agleam new accouterments and months-old ecosystem improvements, Google is agilely carrying what may be its best transformative Chrome OS amend yet — and it’s an amend that’ll adeptness best Chromebooks appear over the accomplished bristles years.
Chrome OS 70, in the bosom of rolling out appropriate now, badly changes the attending and feel of the operating arrangement and makes it added touch-friendly and Android-like than ever. Some of the interface enhancements will be credible the additional your Chromebook gets the software — like the revamped actualization of the shelf (the berth of icons at the basal of the screen), the anew accumulated and Android-Pie-design-injected Quick Settings and notification panel, and the automated book home awning that gives you a abiding on-screen filigree of icons (kind of like an always-open adaptation of the acceptable Chrome OS launcher).
But added genitalia of the amend are beneath accessible — and some adeptness alike be accessible to discount entirely, if you don’t apperceive to coursing ’em down. Actuality are eight new actualization you’ll absolutely appetite to bare already Chrome OS 70 arrives on your system.
When you’re application a convertible Chromebook in its book approach (or application a tablet-only device), bash bottomward from the top of the screen. That’ll let you annoyance an alive app or browser window into a new multitasking interface, area you can see it alongside all your added accessible items.
From there, you accept two choices: You can either let go and bead the app into the accessible aperture on the multitasking grid…
Or you can annoyance it to either bend of the awning to breeze it to that ancillary and alpha up a split-screen view.
Once you’ve entered split-screen mode, you can baddest from any of your added accessible apps and windows to ample the added ancillary of the affectation — or you can aloof accessible commodity new from your shelf or app drawer, and it’ll automatically go into that space.
You can breach your awning with any aggregate of browser windows, web apps, Android apps, and alike Linux apps, too. Talk about worlds colliding, eh?
And aloof like with split-screen on Android, you can annoyance that atramentous bar amid the two genitalia of the awning in either administration to accomplish the abandon above or smaller.
As of Chrome OS 70, you’re no best ashore with that awkward full-width on-screen keyboard. The aing time the keyboard appears, tap the additional figure aural its top row — the one that looks like a box with a smaller, darker box amphibian central it — and bam! It’ll compress appropriate bottomward into a familiar-looking amphibian form.
Once that’s done, you can grab that little atom thingie at its basal (I don’t apperceive what that’s clearly called, but “nubbin thingie” seems like a appealing acceptable description to me) and annoyance it anywhere you appetite for easy, ergonomic access.
You can additionally tap that little squiggly-line figure (another awful abstruse term) in the top bar if you appetite to ascribe argument by autograph with your feel or any added apparatus.
And, of course, you can tap the microphone figure to about-face to articulation input. Speaking of which…
A afresh added Chrome OS affection is labeled as an accessibility advantage but could absolutely be absolutely advantageous for anyone (yes, alike you!). It’s a system-wide dictation affection that makes it accessible to ascribe argument by speaking — anywhere on your device, in any approach you’re using, and whether a basic keyboard is present on the awning or not.
To try it out, accessible up your Chromebook’s settings and blazon “accessibility” into the chase box at the top. Next, baddest “Manage accessibility features,” again annal bottomward to the area labeled “Keyboard and argument input” and actuate the toggle aing to “Enable dictation (speak to type).”
That’ll put a new microphone figure into the bar at the basal of your screen, anon to the larboard of the cachet bar and notification panel. Tap that anywhere, anytime, in book approach or alike in a approved concrete keyboard setup, and you can instantly alpha speaking and accept your words transcribed in whatever argument acreage you accept active.
In addition Android-inspired move, Chrome OS 70 lets you long-press (or right-click or two-finger-click) any figure in your Chromebook’s shelf or launcher to see a account of accessible adjustment actions.
The account of the after-effects alter from one app to addition — and in general, it seems to administer mostly to Android apps, admitting added types of apps may present you with some options — but either way, it’s account actuality acquainted of the system’s attendance and actuality accessible to booty advantage of it back the time is right.
Keeping up with Chrome OS’s contempo app expansions, the arrangement Files app now has the adeptness to let you browse and administer your accumulator affiliated to both Play files (anything associated with an Android app you’ve installed on your device) and Linux files (assuming your Chromebook is amid those with Linux support).
The Chrome OS app drawer gets a beginning covering of acrylic with this latest release, but above that, it additionally assets a accessible new addition: a row of acute contextual suggestions at its top.
Some of the suggestions are apps or pages that you’ve afresh opened or that the arrangement thinks you’re acceptable to open, based on accomplished acceptance patterns (similar to what you see in the app drawer on contempo versions of Android). The leftmost suggestion, though, is commodity abroad entirely: That atom shows a articulation to an commodity you opened on your buzz and adeptness appetite to aces up account here.
This one’s simple but significant: If you’ve got one of the straight-tablet Chrome OS devices, you’ll now automatically get a added acceptable desktop-like Chrome OS interface whenever you affix a concrete keyboard adapter — instead of actuality ashore with the tablet-specific bureaucracy all the time, as had advanced been the case.
Go advanced and aces up a keyboard, if you haven’t already, and accord it a whirl.
Last but not least, a baby blow — and yet maybe the one I’ve alone appear to acknowledge the best in the months I’ve been application this software (during its beta period): an Android-like wallpaper picker.
I know, I apperceive — a wallpaper picker! Joy, oh joy, right?! But adhere on, aloof socks: There’s added to it than that. What makes this new aspect appropriate is the actuality that it lets you baddest from a array of altered categories of images and again opt to accept your wallpaper automatically change to commodity new every day. It’s an effortless way to accumulate your desktop activity beginning and absorbing — and accumulate your academician from acceptable too apathetic with whatever you’re accomplishing in all those apps and windows.
Productivity and acumen — a archetypal bond anyone can appreciate.
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[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]
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