ChromeOS 101 was delivered a few weeks later than expected, and a stable channel was ultimately brought out. In any case, it had more features than we had imagined. Aside from new features, there are a few bug fixes and security updates to mention. With everything out of the way, here’s what’s new in ChromeOS 101. Google has changed the name of Chrome OS to ChromeOS with the release of version 101.
About the ChromeOS 101
Dark Boot Screen
Remember the days when you had to struggle with a full-bright white boot screen that might easily burn your eyes if you turned it on in the dark. The colored Chrome logo was also replaced with a white Chrome system.
Eventually, on the boot screen, ChromeOS will drop the space between Chrome and OS and switch to its new brand name, ChromeOS. Whether you like the new ChromeOS design or not, we can all agree that having a dark boot screen is a big plus, especially in a dark setting.
About the New Launcher
The old app drawer is also being phased out by Google. If you’ve ever used ChromeOS, you’ll know that the old version has a lot of flaws. It takes up the entire screen, making it difficult to browse with a mouse or touchpad; there are no sorting choices; there is a lot of white space; there are issues, such as app icons being placed on a new page for no apparent reason; and so on. Overall, it appears to be an app drawer designed for a touch screen rather than a laptop.
Now, we have a brand-new launcher that addresses all of these difficulties. Unlike before, the app drawer now occupies only the bottom-left corner of the screen, similar to the Windows 10 start menu. If you prefer, it can also organize the apps alphabetically or by color. Instead of sliding up pages, you may now scroll down the app list and open them quickly. It also means that there is less white space between programs and that using a touchpad or mouse is more convenient.
The main drawback is that pressing Search + A does not automatically activate the Google Assistant. It simply redirects us to the assistant page, where we must manually select the microphone icon to activate Google Assistant. It made sense for folks who prefer to enter their instructions, but an option to launch the Google Assistant automatically is much appreciated.
Firmware Updates for External Devices
External device firmware updates, such as keyboards, printers, and displays, used to happen in the background. We can now go to Settings > About Chrome and see a Firmware updates option, where we can see all the external device updates that are available. It still does not allow you to manually search for and install the firmware, but you can find any updates for connected devices here.
Recover using the Internet Connection
You no longer need a USB stick, Android phone, USB cable, or a second Chromebook to install a new copy of the OS from the recovery page. To install ChromeOS quickly, simply pick Recover using the Internet Connection option in the recovery mode. Only a few of the most recent Chromebooks produced this year have this capability.
Variable Refresh Rate and Input Devices
ChromeOS just added support for variable refresh rates and offered Steam for gaming. There are no Chromebooks that support variable refresh rate screens at the moment. You can, however, connect to a monitor that supports the capability and use it.
A Diagnostics app for ChromeOS is being developed to troubleshoot external devices. However, diagnoses are currently only available for keyboard and mouse. They, too, are currently under the flag. You can, however, easily activate them.
The ChromeOS Projector app is another fantastic feature that is buried behind the flags. When you enable the flag, the Projector app should appear in the app drawer. It’s a screen recorder app that allows you to simultaneously record the screen and yourself.
The videos are saved in Google Drive when they are recorded, and you may share them with anyone by sending them a link. Other capabilities include automatic transcription, annotation tools while recording the screen, and more. This is still in beta, but when it reaches the stable version, it will be called Screencast.
About the Debian 11 Bullseye
Finally, the Debian 10 Buster Linux container on Chrome has been upgraded to Debian 11 Bullseye. You can do this even if you’re using an older version of ChromeOS, as long as you’ve activated the update flag. It’s now updated by default with ChromeOS 101. In any case, it doesn’t offer any new functionality to the Linux container.
Introduction of Lacros
We also noted a flood of references to work on Lacros, the Linux browser that Chromebooks would utilize instead of the native ChromeOS browser, according to the sources. For a variety of reasons, Google is working to decouple the browser from the platform.
These code modifications, together with many mentions of ChromeOS 103, indicate that the shift could begin within the next 6 to 8 weeks. Nonetheless, the number of those difficulties we’ve encountered in recent months has decreased. Lacros is progressing splendidly, to say the least.
The Bottom Line
Aside from the several Lacros adjustments, there is also a “Plan B” included. No, it’s not a contingency plan in case the Lacros rollout fails. WebRTC, or Web Real Time Communications, is involved.
Plan B has been in the works for approximately 30 releases, according to the WebRTC spec. ChromeOS 101 also includes a behind-the-scenes patch for the Password Checker feature. When checking your passwords against databases with known hacked credentials, the checker appears to loop indefinitely.
Some improvements, such as the redesigned launcher and boot logo, are significant upgrades, particularly the switch from ChromeOS to ChromeOS. Minor changes, such as firmware updates, are also included.
Finally, certain new flags present on ChromeOS 101 can be used to introduce a few more improvements, such as the Diagnostic app, Projector app, Variable refresh rate, and so on. Furthermore, upgrading to Debian 11 is an added plus.
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