Google has marked 10 years of Chromebooks by unveiling new features for Chrome OS (operating platform), including a new Phone Hub feature that connects an Android phone to a Chromebook.
Phone Hub will allow users to respond to messages, check phone’s battery life and cellular signal, turn on its hotspot and even locate it from their Chromebooks.
“Phone Hub also shows the Chrome browser tabs you last opened on your Android phone, so you can pick up right where you left off,” the company said in a statement late on Tuesday.
In 2011, Google launched the first Chromebooks in partnership with Acer and Samsung.
Google said it has also extended Wi-Fi Sync to work with more devices, making it easier and faster to get online.
Your Chromebook can now automatically connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks you’ve used on your Android phone and other Chrome OS devices when signed in with the same Google Account.
“In the coming months, you’ll also be able to use Nearby Share to instantly and securely share files between your Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices,” the company informed.
Nearby Share lets you send and receive without sharing contact details, so your information and files stay private.
The new ‘Screen Capture’ tool in ‘Quick Settings’ menu will let you take precise screenshots and screen recordings without needing to remember keyboard shortcuts.
The company said it has also streamlined Chromebook setup for parents and guardians to highlight two important tools.
Now when parents set up a new Chromebook using their child’s personal Google Account (managed with Family Link), they can immediately add a school account.
Their child can then use school apps like Google Classroom while Family Link controls on their device still apply, so parents can supervise while they do homework.
“They can also assist their child in creating a PIN during setup, so signing in to their Chromebook is easier,” Google said.
With its new Clipboard, Chromebook now saves the last five items copied so you can easily paste any or all to a new page without needing to switch between windows.
Aside from new features, Google has also enhanced several existing ones.
For instance, you can now share files, images and links between apps in fewer steps, the company said.