Google has begun testing new features such as autocorrect, improved file search, and even adaptive charging within the latest version of Chrome OS, meaning those features will arrive on the stable versions of Chromebooks soon.
The new features are part of Chrome OS M116, available now for download and testing.
The new features include:
Autocorrect: Autocorrect is now enabled by default for those apps that use English as a primary language, automatically fixing typos, spelling, and other errors. Grammar, however, is not affected.
Improved search within the Files app: You can now search across both your local files as well as Google Drive at the same time.
Image to text: Chrome OS is incorporating optical character recognition, to help screen readers parse sites that embed text inside images, such as for instructions. Google and Chrome OS will use AI to transform these images into readable text. Image to text will be available on the Chrome browser “in the coming months,” Google said. You’ll need to go to chrome://flags and then enable flag: #pdf-ocr
An improved setup wizard: Google is promising that an improved setup wizard will make it even easier for new users to get set up, with more device customization options that include touchpad scroll direction and display size. Google says that the new setup wizard is now “more streamlined and thorough.”
RGB control: If your Chromebook has an RGB keyboard, you can now use Chrome OS to apply different colors to different zones — or standardize on a single background color. This will apply to the Ideapad Gaming Chromebook, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, and the Asus Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip. You’ll need to go to: chrome://flags and enable flag: #multi-zone-rgb-keyboard
Adaptive charging: Adptive charging will use AI to charge a Chromebook to 80 percent, then complete the charging to 100 percent, based upon the predicted time when a user will disconnect the device from the charging cord — the goal is to match those two events as closely as possible. To enable it, you’ll need to go to Settings > Device > Power.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: You’ll be able to open and edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files on a Chromebook and access OneDrive to load and edit those files in Microsoft 365. To use these Office files with Office 365, your Chromebook will download the Microsoft OneDrive app and connect it to the Chrome OS Files app.