The Chrome OS has been around for over five years now, and over the years there have been numerous improvements that have been brought forward. The latest update to the Chrome OS takes it up to Chrome OS 56.0.2924.87. Following this update, many improvements have been introduced in this Operating System that powers the Chromebooks, and the design style look like the primary focus. Let us take a look at some of the improvements that have come along with the Chrome OS 56 Update:
What’s New in Chrome OS 56:
1. Material Design
Material Design has been Google’s pet project for quite a long while now. Google has brought forward design innovations in many of their devices. It began with the Android smartphones, it was one of the major focal points in the latest Android Wear 2.0 update too.
The Chrome OS 56 update brings this material design to the shelf, as well as the system menu. This redesigned material shelf switches from a bar to a circle when a window or an app is opened. Numerous animations have been introduced which complement the material design update. The system menu has been made more compact.
2. Updates for the Visually Impaired
This latest update to the Chrome OS also keeps in mind the visually impaired users. Google has been very thoughtful with this and has brought forward improvements such as a new ChromeVox screen reader. This allows the visually impaired Chrome OS users to make use of the OS via audio prompts and with the keyboard.
Braille display keyboards too, have been improved and they now allow the users to navigate the interface directly via the assistive tool. New auditory features have also been introduced. However, for those users who still prefer the older version of the ChromeVox screen reader, Google has also made it available as ‘ChromeVox Classic’.
3. More Changes
In addition to the aforementioned changes, Chrome OS 56 also brings forward the full rollout of HTML5 by default. It brings forward the previously discussed updates which are still rolling out for non Chrome-OS users. These updates are those such as the ‘not secure’ label for non HTTPS website. It also introduces the Web Bluetooth API, which allows web apps to communicate with nearby low-energy Bluetooth devices.
4. Android Apps Support
While we were expecting a larger number of Chromebooks to be getting the Android apps support, Google has made no such efforts here. The only consolation is that it has been announced that ASUS Chromebook Flip 2 will now support the Google Play Store. In the next few months we expect a much larger number of devices to get it – expect big announcements regarding this to be made at the Google I/O 2017.
This update is currently rolling out to all Chrome OS devices with the exception of ASUS Chromebook Flip, Chromebook Pixel (2015) and the Acer Chromebook R11.