Google rolls out Chrome OS 69: Here's what the pros need to know

New design features, enhancements to the files app, and easier voice dictation make Chrome 69 a good choice for workers.

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Google officially rolled out Chrome OS 69 Tuesday, bringing with it bug fixes, security updates, and more. The full stable channel update was detailed on Google's Chrome releases blog, and compatible systems will be receiving the update over the next few days.

Along with some security fixes, Chrome OS 69 brings with it a host of features that could improve productivity and help professionals get work done. One of the biggest changes in Chrome OS 69 is that it brings the Linux for Chromebooks beta into the stable channel for certain devices. As noted by 9to5Google, the following Chromebooks support the beta:

  • Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA
  • Acer Chromebook 11 (C732, C732T, C732L & C732LT)
  • Google Pixelbook
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2)
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook / Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e Chromebook
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 11 R751T
  • Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT/1H
  • HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE
  • HP Chromebook x2

SEE: Secure Browser Usage Policy (Tech Pro Research)

The addition is a boon for developers, who will now be able to natively run certain Linux tools and applications. If you don't have a supported Chromebook, you can still run Linux through the dev channel by following these instructions on ZDNet.

Professionals will also find that the Files app is getting native support for Team Drives, the blog post said. This makes file sharing and collaboration within an organization much easier.

In Chrome OS 69, Google added a new microphone button in the status bar, which make it easier for users to access voice dictation functionality. Dictation is supported in any text field now, and Google also added global text-to-speech settings to change voice, pitch, and more, the post said. This can help with quick note-taking and transcriptions.

The UI also looks different in Chrome OS 69, as Google added new Material Design elements to the tab page, including rounding the corners on the tops of the tabs themselves, reshaping the address bar, and utilizing a clean white background. A new omnibar was also revealed in this release, the post said.

Night owls will be glad to read that Google added a Night Light feature to Chrome OS 69 as well--changing the display color/temperature to reduce eye strain.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Chrome OS 69 was released into the stable channel with beta support for Linux for Chromebooks coming to certain devices.
  • Chrome OS 69 features a new UI and design elements, a Night Light feature, enhanced voice dictation and TTS, and native support for Team Drives in the Files app.

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Image: CNET