All the new Chromebook features announced at Google I/O

At the annual Google I/O developer conference later this year, Google announced several new features for Chrome OS. Most are designed to bring Android phones and Chromebooks closer together with cross-device synergies such as communication and app streaming.

As discussed in a 23 minute breakout session video, Camera Roll is one of the most talked about features coming to Chrome OS soon. It allows you to access and share recent photos from your Android phone on your Chromebook. It’s coming “later this year” and will live in the Chrome OS Phone Hub. From there, you can simply drag and drop the displayed photos as needed.

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The other big Chrome OS feature that Google has discussed is communication and app streaming. Coming “later this year,” it’s a new way to access messaging and other communication apps from an Android 13 phone on all Chromebooks without reinstalling the app on a Chromebook.

When describing the feature, Google said that if you’re writing an email on your Chromebook, you can reply to messages by opening your phone chat app on your device. Your Chromebook will mirror that app in an open Phone Hub window and show you the content exactly as you have it on your phone.

Topping off the list of important features is one known as Fast Pair. As the name suggests, it’s designed so that your Chromebook can seamlessly discover and connect to compatible headsets, headphones, and earbuds with a single tap. Google believes that this feature can help you avoid audio loss and avoid having to make additional settings when switching between different audio devices.

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As for app developers, Google is working on a new app discovery service. This has three goals: improved app detection, consistent app experiences, and stable app fidelity. For you, this means it’s easier to find apps through curated collections, including Linux, Android, and traditional web apps. The app discovery service is powered by machine learning and is tuned for factors such as user preferences, device type, form factors and compute power, according to Chrome Unboxed.

Google’s developer video also dives into some interesting Chromebook stats, with Google claiming Chromebooks are the number one device in K-12 education. Other statistics showed that there were 20% more monthly active Chromebook business users than in 2021. There are also more than 75 new Chromebook models slated for release in 2022, according to Google data.

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