Chrome OS 72 Rolling Out with Google Assistant and Android Pie Support
Google Assistant is now natively integrated into Chrome OS. With the latest updated Chrome OS 72 release, one of the biggest adjustments will be its native integration of Google Assistant (and Android 9 Pie) that brings it to more Chromebooks. Similar to Android, there’s a pill-shaped bar at the center of the screen that can expand for users to type into or access via voice controls.
The latest version first launched on the Pixel Slate is now expanding to other devices like the Pixelbook. Instead of a phone-sized panel in the bottom-left corner, it is now centered on the screen and similar to the new search/app launcher UI. Users can also minimize Assistant to a tiny pill-shaped bar.
Among other things, Chrome OS 72 includes a version of the Chrome browser that has been optimized for touchscreen devices when you are using them in tablet mode. There are also a number of improvements for Android app support, which could make Chrome OS tablets feel a little more like native Android devices.
Some of the new exciting features are,
- Addition of a page about touch gestures in the built-in ChromeVox screen reader tutorial
- Chrome browser has been optimized for touchscreen devices in tablet mode
- External storage access for Android apps using direct /storage and MediaStore APIs
- App shortcuts for Android apps are now searchable in the launcher. Users can find an app shortcut by long pressing or right-clicking on an Android app.
- Policies added to manage print job attributes for native printing including simple/duplex printing and color/B&W printing
- The Picture in Picture (PiP) now available for Chrome sites
- Within the ChromeVox screen reader, added a setting in the ChromeVox options page to read anything under the mouse cursor
- Files saved via Backup and Sync on Drive now available in Files app under My Drive/Computers