Chrome OS Stable Channel Update Brings Several Enhancements

The Chrome team has released a major update to Chrome OS into the stable channel.  The update is build 61.0.3163.113 (Platform version: 9765.76.0) and it rolling out to devices today.  Normally on Chrome OS releases, there are a few devices that are left off the update for various reasons – device specific features, already on a different train, etc. – but this release has a pretty extensive list and it contains a lot of popular Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.

If you have one of the devices listed below, the update to the Chrome 61 build will not be available for your device:

  • Acer Chromebase 24
  • Acer Chromebook 11
  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Acer Chromebook 15
  • Acer Chromebook R13
  • AOpen Chromebox Mini
  • ASUS Chromebook C202SA
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip
  • Chromebook 11
  • Chromebook 14 for work
  • Chromebook Pixel
  • Dell Chromebook 13
  • Dell Chromebook 13
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5
  • HP Chromebook x360
  • Lenovo Flex 11
  • Lenovo N23 Chromebook
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2

There is no indication on when this list of device will see this new update but generally it is only a week or two after the initial release.  Let’s hope that is the case because this build has a lot going for it.

 When you have this build of Chrome OS installed, the changes are almost immediate.  There is a new default profile avatar and picker and an all new App Launcher.  There is a new Sign in and Lock Screen design too.  This build of the platform looks much more polished and less, erm, geeky.  It looks like a real OS in many ways now which is what needs to happen in order for the platform to gain broader success.
In addition, there are other improvements like better windows management support when you are in tablet mode, improved power management settings and an improved Get Help app.
If you have a Chromebook or other Chrome OS device, you can manually check for this update by typing in chrome://help in the browser omnibar and tapping the Check for Updates button.  This will push the build immediately to your device (assuming it is not a managed device for work or school).

 

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