ChromeOS 117: Material You Design, Adaptive Charging & More

Google Rolls Out ChromeOS 177 with Material You Design and Enhanced Features

Google has announced the release of ChromeOS 177 for eligible Chromebook devices, bringing a host of new features and design improvements. The update, which includes Google’s latest Material You makeover, offers enhancements across various elements such as Quick Settings, notifications, battery charging controls, and color accessibility settings.

New Features and Design Tweaks

One of the notable additions in this update is the introduction of rectangular buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings, providing a fresh and modern look to the user interface. Moreover, users can now easily find the specifications of their Chromebook through the Launcher feature.

The update also introduces an Adaptive Charging feature aimed at improving battery life. By accessing the Settings > Device > Power menu, users can enable this functionality, which slows down the charging process once the battery reaches 80 percent capacity. This approach allows the battery to reach 100 percent charge at a slower speed, promoting longer battery health.

Another exciting feature offered in ChromeOS 177 is the ability to search for GIFs in the emoji picker. This feature adds an extra layer of fun and creativity to messages and conversations, making them more engaging for users.

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Enhanced Quick Settings Display

The Quick Settings display has also undergone significant improvements in this update. Google has replaced the previous small circles layout with a more user-friendly grid layout. This new arrangement allows users to easily navigate and access Quick Settings controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Nearby Share, Cast Screen, VPN, Screen Capture, and Do Not Disturb.

Convenient Notification Panel

ChromeOS 177 introduces a new notification panel located on the bottom right of the screen. This panel offers users quick and convenient access to new messages, emails, and other app notifications, ensuring they stay updated with their digital interactions.

Dynamic Color Theming

Dynamic color theming is another highlight of this update. Chromebook devices now adapt their accent colors based on the shades of the wallpaper. This means that the device’s appearance will automatically adjust to light and dark mode settings, providing a more seamless and visually appealing user experience. Users can access this feature by right-clicking on the desktop and navigating to the Wallpaper and Style app.

Improved Calendar and Microphone Privacy Indicator

The ChromeOS 177 update also brings enhancements to the Calendar app. Users can now view upcoming meetings and join them directly through a button, making their scheduling and participation more efficient than ever.

Additionally, Google has included a microphone privacy indicator in the bottom right status area of the screen. This indicator serves as a visual cue to inform users when apps are accessing their device’s microphone or camera, adding an extra layer of control and transparency.

Other Notable Upgrades

Apart from the aforementioned features, ChromeOS 177 introduces several other notable upgrades. These include GIF support in the emoji picker, time-lapse video recording in the Camera app, improved Vietnamese Telex and VNI input method experiences, and more. These additions further enhance the overall functionality and versatility of Chromebook devices.

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Automatic Over-the-Air Updates

Google aims to ensure that all eligible Chromebook devices receive the ChromeOS 177 update automatically over-the-air (OTA). However, users can manually check for updates on their devices by navigating to Settings > About ChromeOS > Check for updates.

Google’s Emphasis on AI and Future Developments

The launch of ChromeOS 177 aligns with Google’s commitment to advancing artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The company has repeatedly expressed its dedication to enhancing AI capabilities across its apps, services, and Android operating system. This dedication was evident at Google I/O 2023, where the search giant unveiled its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet alongside discussions on supercharging its technological offerings.

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