ChromeOS 107 is rolling out to users around the world. While this landmark version is a bit behind, the latest version was released much more recently than 106, which was delayed by more than two weeks. The latest version of Chrome for desktops was relatively lacking in features, but the OS version of Chrome came with a basket full of new and improved tricks you might want to try. So, let’s take a look at what’s new in ChromeOS 107.
Adding to ChromeOS’ ever-expanding productivity toolbox, ChromeOS 107 brings auto-framing to the platform. On devices that support it, enabling auto-framing while using the camera will automatically zoom in on your face to keep you in the front and center of the frame. If your device supports autoframing, you should see an alert notification the first time you turn on your camera after the update to 107. You can find the autoframing toggle in the quick settings menu of your Chromebook, as seen in the image below. Note: The setting is lost if your camera or camera-enabled app is not open.
Lock the lid without sleep
For users who may need to lock their device while walking away but need to keep services running, administrators can now configure their ChromeOS device to lock the screen when the lid is closed without putting the device to sleep. An example of how this can be useful is if you have an active SSH session and you don’t want it to pause when you close the lid or your device.
Recent files filter
To make things a little easier when searching the Files App, the “Recents” tab now gives you categories. You can now filter between Audio, Documents, Images and Videos in the Recents tab with just one click.
Virtual Desks have become one of the most adopted productivity tools on ChromeOS in recent years. Even now, Google is working to increase maximum number of virtual desktops from eight to sixteen. Managing all these fields can be a bit of a hassle, so Google has added a handy feature that will let you merge a table with the one next to it with one click. When viewing your tables in overview mode in ChromeOS 107, you will now see an icon to the left of the “X” used to close the table. This merge icon allows you to move the contents of that table immediately to the left and remove that table from your knee.
We’ve been waiting for this feature for months. In addition to merging Tables, users can now save their Tables for later. When you save a table, all tabs open in that Table are saved and you can reopen them later. To save a Desk, go to the overview mode and you will see the “Save your desk for later” notification above your active apps. Clicking this will save your Table. Then you will see the registered Desk in your overview screen where you can click on it to reopen all your apps/tabs in a new Desk.
Accent physical keyboard
This is still behind a flag but a nice bonus feature in ChromeOS 107. The flag provides a library of accented and variable characters that can be accessed with long-press keys on the physical keyboard. This includes special accented letters available in languages other than English and other characters not found on the standard keyboard. To enable the accent keyboard, simply point your browser to chrome://flags#enable-cros-diacritics-on-physical-keyboard-longpress, enable the flag and restart your browser. When enabled, long press a key in a text box and you will see a popup with available characters.
That’s it for ChromeOS 107 at first glance, but I’ll keep digging to see what else can be hidden under the hood. We have one more milestone update for 2022 that should arrive on December 1st. To check ChromeOS 107, go to the settings menu via the system tray at the bottom right. Click the gear icon and find the About ChromeOS tab. Click the tab and smash the “check for updates” button.
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