Chrome OS 96 landed with proper Nearby Share support, new camera settings

Better notification controls, wallpaper settings, etc.

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Google recently changed its Chrome release schedule from an update every six weeks to an update every four weeks, and as a result, version 95 was completely skipped. This summer, we learned that Google is planning the same for Chrome OS. After version 94 rolled out, Chrome OS 96 has now started to land on stable devices, and while it looks pretty minor compared to some previous updates, it does bring some quality of life improvements to the way. which camera and android apps work.

The update, which is the first release as part of the more dynamic four-week program, was announced on Chrome Versions Blog, and our friends from 9to5Google also spotted a few notable changes that are worth sharing.


New camera settings

The native Chrome OS camera benefits from a few new tips to improve productivity and video calls from your Chromebook. The first of these is document scanning, and although we saw this feature in testing a few months ago, Google is finally making it official with the rollout of Chrome OS 96. You can now use your camera to scan any printed document and easily convert it to PDF file or JPEG image. Simply open the Camera app, select Scan mode and hold the document you want to scan up to the camera – it will automatically detect edges and store it as a digital document, just like apps like Adobe Scan.

We also get additional options for pan, zoom, tilt or crop your camera view for calls. It’s not as automated as the iPad Pro’s front camera, which tracks you as you move, but it does allow you to make quick changes like zooming in on yourself or viewing something in the middle. background. Just go to your Camera app, make a few adjustments, and save them. These settings are persistent, so you can join a Zoom or Google Meet call and still apply them.

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Finally, while it doesn’t land today with Chrome OS 96, Google has also released a GIF maker for the Camera app, where you can record a 5-second video and automatically turn it into a shareable GIF. We’ve spotted it in the past, and it’s getting publicized for “early next year”, so we might see it once version 97 or 98 is released.

Share nearby on all Android apps

Android phones have had sharing nearby since last year, and in Chrome OS it’s supported in a limited capacity for a while – on Files app, system apps, and some PWAs (progressive web apps). . Nearby sharing is now supported by all Android apps starting with Chrome OS 96, so you can easily share items with your phone or other nearby devices.

Share near Chrome OS 96

Easier notification settings

Previously, the only way to turn on / off per-app notifications was to go to Quick Settings, but that changes with Chrome OS 96 as there is now a dedicated Notifications section in Settings> Apps. This allows users to easily turn off notifications on certain Android apps in one place, or turn them off all at once by turning on do not disturb mode.

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Other minor changes

As usual, there are also some minor improvements and tweaks:

  • There is a new section called “Opening supported links” in the “Manage your apps” list, which determines whether links inside an Android app are opened in the Chrome browser or in the own sandbox. of an application.

  • The Wallpaper app is now accessible via a launcher icon instead of a simple right click on your desktop. We’re also getting some UI improvements, like a bigger grid.

The update began rolling out to supported Chromebooks today. If you don’t see it on yours yet, expect it to land in the next few weeks.

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