Chrome OS 72 Delivers Android 9 Pie Support, Improved Google Assistant, Browser PiP And More
Google announced that Chrome OS 72 is ready and rolling out to Chromebooks and other devices right now. This latest update to Google's popular operating system brings with it a number of feature enhancements including support for Android 9 Pie.
A key goal of the Android 9 Pie design was to utilize AI software to a higher degree. Using AI, an adaptive battery function helps to extend battery life, and an improved adaptive brightness feature learns how you like the brightness set on your device in different situations and automatically adjusts itself for your convenience. Both of these features help to extend your battery life as the software tailors itself to you.
Parts of Chrome OS 72 also comes with an updated aesthetic appearance. The Android settings page in particular has been redesigned and styled to mimic the settings menu found on Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, but there will likely be some aesthetic updates elsewhere as well.
Google took this opportunity to also integrate its Google Assistant deeper into the OS. The assistant accepts voice commands and it can be used to quickly launch a search or find files and applications located on your device. If you haven't used Google's Assistant before, think of it as essentially Google's version of Microsoft's Cortana or Apple's Siri.
The Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature on Google's Chrome web browser was also updated alongside this release in order to ease its use by users and extend its support for different videos. PiP has been available as an optional feature in the last several versions of Chrome, but the feature will now enabled by default on Chrome OS 72 whenever local videos are played and on sites that support it.
The Cast UI interface was revamped for Chrome OS 72 to make it simpler to cast media to supported devices. It should be noted, however, that just like with the Chrome 72 web browser, you will no longer be able to initialize Chromecast devices via the web browser interface. Instead you will need to install the Google Home app and use that to first setup any devices you intend to use.
The last notable improvement in Chrome OS 72 is a security feature called USBGuard. This feature will cause the Chromebook to ignore communication with any USB devices for security purposes whenever a user is not logged in.
Chrome OS 72 has numerous other minor enhancements that can be found listed on Google's Chrome Releases page. If you have a Chromebook, you should be able to install the update soon if you can't already and test these new features out first hand.