Chrome OS 91 is rolling out now to supported Chromebooks and with this update, it’s gaining some of Android’s best features. The most notable being Nearby Share, a feature on Android which allows you to share files with others quickly and easily.
With Nearby Share making its debut in Chrome OS 91, you’ll now be able to share files between your Android phone and Chromebook or two Chromebooks with ease. Nearby Share makes use of Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth, WebRTC, and Wi-Fi to connect your two devices and exchange files even when not connected to the internet. Now, you’ll be able to share links, screenshots, photos, and more making this the closest we’ve gotten to Apple’s convenient AirDrop feature.
To use Nearby Share, update to Chrome OS 91, open up the settings menu, and search for Nearby Share. After you’ve enabled it, you’ll be able to swap files back and forth between your phone and Chromebook effortlessly.
Another big feature coming from Android phones to the Chromebook with this update are app badges. These are the little dots you’ll see on an app’s icon when you have a notification. This should make it much easier to see when you have a notification pending and which app it belongs to.
Now you’ll know whether it’s a new email pending or a useless game trying to get you to open the app back up with a quick glance. Of course, if you find badges distracting or irritating, you can turn them off by checking “Notifications” under “Quick Settings.”
Offline file support is also coming in the Chrome OS 91 update, except Google says it won’t roll out till the end of June. Once it starts popping up on your device, you’ll be able to select files in the Files app for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides and toggle on “Available offline” to enable editing them locally without an internet connection.
Finally, the latest update brings a host of new wallpapers and account images created by artist Leo Natsume. To explore these, open up the “Quick Settings” and navigate to Personalization. Alternatively, you can right-click on the desktop and select “Set wallpaper” or “Imaginary.”
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