Chrome OS Stable Channel Sees A Small Update Arrive

Chrome OS Build 61 App Launcher

A quick heads-up for readers who use Chrome OS.  You have a new update rolling out.  The new build is version 61.0.3163.123 (Platform version: 9765.85.0) and according to the release notes, will be rolling out to a majority of devices starting today.  As always, you can check for the update manually by typing chrome://help in the browser omnibar and tapping the “check for updates” button.

The update does not specifically call out any new features or fixes.  Rather, it is a bug fix and security update for the platform.  Over the past few months it has become common practice for Google to release a major update at the beginning of the month then one of these smaller, fix oriented updates around mid-month.

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Chrome OS Build 61 – Beautiful and Secure

Chrome OS Build 61 App Launcher

Chrome OS has come a long way in 6 years that it has been around.  The platform has infinitely more features and functionality, has a robust ecosystem of extensions and now Android apps, and is no longer a “cheap” OS for “cheap” hardware.  It has grown up, a lot.

But if there is one area that it still has lagged when comparing it to the likes of MacOS or Windows 10, it has been in the User Interface.  Yes it has changed a bit, most notably with the introduction of a task bar in 2012, but fundamentally it has always been a browser-based platform with a clunky but functional UI.  But that changed in a big way this week with the released of Chrome OS build 61.

Build 61 brings the most dramatic changes to the User Interface to date.  It brings an all new app launcher, significantly improved support for Android apps and a much more polished lock screen.  These many not sound like big ticket items but these changes bring the platform as a whole more into the mainstream look of an Operating System and out of the “geeks only” look that the platform has had to this point.  It also points to the never ending work that the Chromium team within Google perform to not only keep it as a secure and reliable OS but also bringing features that users are expecting in a desktop or laptop platform.  With more improvements on the horizon, this new look UI will only improve over the course of 2018.

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Chrome OS Stable Channel Update Brings Several Enhancements

Acer Chromebook 15 2017

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.

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Chrome for Desktop Sees Stable Channel Update

Chrome for Desktop

Chrome build 61.0.3163.100 is now rolling out to desktop users of the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux.  The update is purely a security fix and performance update with no noted new features.

The update addresses three security issues in the browser, two of which were discovered as part of Google’s continuing bounty program.  Those fixes, including the reward given to the one who found it, is below.

  • [$7500][765433] High CVE-2017-5121: Out-of-bounds access in V8. Reported by Jordan Rabet, Microsoft Offensive Security Research and Microsoft ChakraCore team on 2017-09-14
  • [$3000][752423] High CVE-2017-5122: Out-of-bounds access in V8. Reported by Choongwoo Han of Naver Corporation on 2017-08-04

The other critical security issue found was found internally and no details were reported on it in the Release Notes.

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Chrome for Android Update Brings Various Bug Fixes

Google Chrome for Android

Build 61.0.3163.98 of Chrome for Android has been released by the Chrome team at Google, bringing with it a handful of fixes and improvements.  The update is now in the Google Play Store and should roll out to devices via an OTA update over the course of the next few days.

The update, as is usually the case, brings a lot of under-the-hood updates to the browser as well as security fixes.  Most of these updates are focused on stability and performance of the app.  There are, however, other fixes that are specifically called out in the release notes.

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Chrome for Android Build 61 Released

Google Chrome for Android

Chrome build 61 was widely released yesterday for the desktop browser as well as for Android.  The new build for Android is 61.0.3163.81 for those keeping score at home and brings a lot of fixes, improvements and a few new features.

On the new feature front, there are two noted in the release notes from Google.  First, the translated pages in Chrome has a more compact and intuitive toolbar.  This will give a bit more reading room on those translated pages.  Second, the image picker in Build 61 is improved.  This will make it easier to pick images that you want to post via the browser.

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