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All about Chrome OS 94 | Phone hub, Wi-Fi Sync, new media controls, new accessibility features and more

Chrome OS has just hit version 94 featuring an extensive list of updates from the Phone hub and other quality of life improvements.

What is a Chromebook?

Phone hub

Phone Hub

Phone Hub is a built-in control center that brings key capabilities from your Android phone to your Chromebook. Received a text but your phone is out of reach? No problem. Respond to that message, check your phone’s battery life and cellular signal, turn on its hotspot and even locate it, all from your Chromebook. Phone Hub also shows the Chrome browser tabs you last opened on your Android phone, so you can pick up right where you left off.

Wi-Fi Sync

Wi-Fi Sync now works with more devices, making it easier and faster to get online. Your Chromebook can now automatically connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks you’ve used on your Android phone and other Chrome OS devices when signed in with the same Google Account. You’ll soon also be able to use Nearby Share to instantly share files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices. Nearby Share lets you send and receive without sharing contact details, so your information and files stay private. 

New Screen Capture tool

The new Screen Capture tool in your Quick Settings menu lets you take precise screenshots and screen recordings without needing to remember keyboard shortcuts. Once you take a screen capture, it’ll instantly show up in Tote, a new space that keeps important files right at your fingertips. Open Tote from your Shelf and you’ll see all your recent downloads, recent screen captures and pinned files. 

Media controls

The media controls are also now built directly into the Quick Settings menu, so you’ll always know where to go to play, pause or skip to the next song that you’re playing from the web or an Android app. You can pin this media player directly to your Shelf for immediate access. 

Accounts

Now when parents set up a new Chromebook using their child’s personal Google Account (managed with Family Link), they can immediately add a school account. Their child can then use school apps like Google Classroom while Family Link controls on their device still apply, so parents can supervise while they do homework. They can also assist their child in creating a PIN during setup, so signing in to their Chromebook is easier. 

Clipboard

With the new Clipboard, your Chromebook saves the last five items copied so you can easily paste any or all to a new page without needing to switch between windows. Just press the Everything Button + V to use your Clipboard.

Quick Answers

Quick Answers automatically offers helpful information like definitions, translations or unit conversions when you right-click a word.

Desks

Now when you reboot, all your windows will restore to their previous desks so your workflow isn’t interrupted. Right-click at the top of a window to send it directly to one or all desks, and swipe across your trackpad with four fingers to switch between desks. To get started with Desks, open Overview mode and create a new desk.

Select-to-speak

Select-to-speak is getting updated with more human-sounding voices with 25 languages currently supported and more coming in the future. To set-up, go to device Settings > Advanced > Accessibility > “Manage” > “Enable select-to-speak” > open settings > “Natural voice.” Afterwards, use the Everything Button/Launcher Key + S or the shelf shortcut.

Scan tab in the Camera app

To use this new feature to scan documents, select the scan tab in the camera app, simply hold all four corners of the document in front of the camera and the Camera app will scan the page.

As if these updates weren’t enough, there are additional features part of the Chrome OS 94 update you can read about here.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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