Google is pushing a new ChromeOS update that introduces significant upgrades, including a new look, some useful battery charging controls, accent color accessibility settings, and more (via 9to5Google).
ChromeOS, now on stable version 117, adopts Google’s “Material You” design philosophy, the radical new look introduced on Android 12 in 2021. The change is most prominent in the newly redesigned Quick Settings view that now has easier-to-select (and read) rectangular buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings compared to the previous small circle icons.
Updated ChromeOS devices will also get a new notification panel on the bottom right of the screen, giving you easier access to new messages, emails, and other alerts from apps. The calendar also gets an upgraded Up Next view with the ability to easily jump onto video calls. In addition, there are new privacy indicators that show when the camera and mic are in use in the status area on the bottom right of the screen.
The new software also allows you to find the specs of your Chromebook (or other ChromeOS device), like the CPU and RAM, through a simple search in Launcher. Previously, there were convoluted steps to find the RAM, and other information would require the assistance of third-party apps like Cog to uncover.
To help elongate the battery’s health, ChromeOS now has adaptive charging that can hold the charge at 80 percent and use machine learning to predict when a user will unplug it so it can charge to 100 percent before that time. (You can access the feature by going to Settings > Device > Power > Adaptive charging.)
Finally, Google is adding new accent colors so users with color vision deficiencies can better navigate the interface. This feature can be found in the ChromeOS accessibility settings under “Display and Magnification.”