Google has released version 35 of Chrome OS to its stable channel. The update hit beta last month.
The release features a number of key features, including ‘Ok Google’ functionality, folders in the app launcher and easier access to public WiFi.
App Launcher Folders
Folder creation in the app launcher finally arrives to all users, after several months of testing in the dev and beta channels.
With folders, you can group installed apps however you like — from a ‘Google Drive folder’ for Docs, Slides and Sheets, to a ‘games’ directory housing apps like Angry Birds and 2048.
To create a new folder:
- Open the Apps list
- Long press on an app icon to ‘pick it up’
- Drag it over another icon until a dark circle appears
- Let it go to create a folder containing both items
From there, you can drag and drop more apps onto the folder icon to add them. Afterwards, you might want to give it a name:
- Click on the folder you want to rename to open it
- Click the heading ‘untitled folder’
- Enter a new name
- Hit Enter/Return to confirm
To delete a folder you will need to drag out each item within it. When only one item is left the folder will automatically delete itself.
Improved Window Controls
A few releases ago, Google removed the ‘minimize’ window control. The theory was, since you can minimize by clicking on the app shelf icon an entry in the window frame was largely redundant. Well, seemingly not; based on user feedback the minimize button has returned.
Also new to this release is an impoved way to ‘snap’ windows to the left and right sides of the screen. Long-press on the maximize button and drag towards the direction you would like the app window to resize to.
If you’re using US Engligh as your default language, you can play with ‘Ok Google’ hotword detection in the app launcher and on the default Google new tab page.
When either of these is open simply say ‘Ok Google’ to trigger voice search.
In addition to providing web results from Google, you can launch installed applications by speaking their name.
Captive Portal Detection
If you’re a frequent public WiFi user you’ll be familiar with ‘captive portals’ — additional steps to sign into WiFi in cafes, hotels and so on. This update implements captive portal detection for a singed-in session, nixing the hoops previously required to get online.
Of course, there is a barrage of bug fixes and security updates.