A proper media player is inbound.
What you need to know
- Google is rolling out Chrome OS 97 to Chromebooks.
- The update brings improvements to the Gallery app with a new audio player and multi-window support.
- Chrome OS 97 also brings offline, on-device grammar check.
Hot on the heels of Google’s major Chrome-related CES announcements, the company is now pushing the Chrome OS 97 update to some of the best Chromebooks. The update features a few notable changes and upgrades for the gallery app, the full-screen magnifier, and more.
Probably the most notable changes come to the Gallery app. With Chrome OS 97, users are now able to open and edit photos in multiple windows with different images, which should come in handy if you want to compare and contrast. It’s a pretty basic function, but one we’re glad has finally arrived on the OS.
Additionally, the dedicated audio player is getting a notable upgrade from the tiny pop out it’s had up until now. For the masochists out there that prefer on-device audio files, Chrome OS will open a fullscreen player with large cover art and an easy way to preview other audio files.
9to5Google posted images of the two players, and you can see the before and after below:
On the accessibility front, the fullscreen magnifier gets a new option that will move the magnifier with your mouse. Some users may find this easier to navigate than the previous options, which would only move the magnifier when the mouse touched the edge of the screen. You can also move the screen while keeping the mouse centered.
Chrome OS 97 also introduces offline grammar check, which should come in handy as it won’t rely on an internet connection to function.
ChromeUnboxed also highlights features like using Google Assistant to open the camera app and capture a photo or video. This was introduced as a beta feature with the Chrome OS 96 update.
Google has now moved Chrome OS to a four-week update schedule, meaning we should see more bug fixes (and hopefully features) arriving on the platform at a faster pace, in line with the Chrome browser releases. The latest upgrade should arrive automatically on your device, but you can also perform a manual check by navigating to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for updates.
All you need
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i
$445 at Amazon
$436 at Lenovo
It doesn’t take much to make a good Chromebook, but if you’re looking for a great one, look no further than the Chromebook Flex 5i from Lenovo. Not only does it have a bright 13.3-inch 1080p display, but it offers great speakers and more RAM than you could need on a Chrome OS machine.