As expected, the Chrome OS Dev Channel has now been updated to its first Chrome 69 based build today. The update was expected given that Chrome 67 is now in the Stable Channel and the Beta Channel was updated yesterday to Chrome 68. The new build in the Dev Channel is 69.0.3464.0 (Platform version: 10798.0.0).
As a reminder to those who are new to Chrome OS, the Chrome OS Dev Channel is considered the alpha build channel for the platform. Builds here often contain many bugs and odd performance issues and it is recommended only for developers to use to get a preview of what is coming in the platform.
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After being delayed following the update of the Chrome OS Stable Channel to Chrome 67, The Chrome OS Beta Channel has now received its first Chrome 68-based build. The channel is now running build 68.0.3440.25 (Platform version: 10718.22.0) and it is available for the majority of devices in the channel starting today.
For those that may be new to Chrome OS, the Beta Channel is the last channel prior to a build being released to the general public in the Stable Channel. You can always change your channel on your Chromebook by typing Chrome://help and then clicking on the Build Information section of the page. Keep in mind that the hint is in the name: The Beta Channel is still not ready for prime time so you could run into bugs or other issues that impact your daily workflow.
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If you are running Chrome 67 on your Chromebook, there is now a flag available to you that will allow you to enable the still under construction new wallpaper picker. The new picker replaces the old style picker which has been in the platform since, well, forever. It brings a refreshed, Material Design look to the picker and eventually will marry up with the backdrop wallpaper changer that is found in Chromecast.
That’s where the under construction part comes into the equation. Right now there is a commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit that points to a new wallpaper that is enabled by default and that it will marry up with Chromecast. The idea is that your Chromecast and your Chromebook will have the same look and feel and will be drawing from the same service in the background to give you your wallpaper options.
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A fifth Chrome 68 based build has arrived in the Chrome OS Dev Channel, the platforms alpha build channel. Build 68.0.3440.25 (Platform version: 10718.22.0) is the new version and available for the majority of Chromebooks that are in the channel.
For those that are new to Chrome OS, the Chrome OS Dev Channel is considered the Alpha channel for the platform. Normally this channel has a fair number of bugs or performance issues as it gets refined prior to be releasing into the Beta channel for broader testing.
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One of the more popular Chromebooks of 2017 was the Samsung Chromebook Plus. Now as we get an improved version of it for 2018, the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2. Sporting a slight redesign, the big news on this update is the internals have been improved for better performance.
Internally, the Chromebook Plus V2 is powered by the Intel Celeron 3965Y clocked at 1.5GHz. It is coupled with the Intel HD Graphics 615 but still has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of Storage. While still very much entry level processors and graphics, it is a jump up from the previous version which was ARM based. This should improve overall performance in Chrome OS but also should improve Android app performance.
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Right now your choices for Chromebooks that support Linux are pretty limited. The Google Pixelbook and the Samsung Chrome Plus have been the first devices to support it. Today however, the team over at XDA has discovered that the new HP Chromebook X2 is now supported.
Linux support on the X2 is limited to the Chrome OS Canary Channel. For those that aren’t familiar with Chrome OS’ channels, the Canary Channel is pre-alpha essentially with a lot of experimentation (and thus crashes) going on. It is not for the faint of heart and indeed you have to bypass a lot of the platforms security mechanisms to get to it. But if you really want to go there, you can and can try out Linux on the X2.
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With Android app support already there and Linux support on its way, Chrome OS has a platform is evolving quickly. That evolution means that how we view and use our Chromebook has to change too, particularly the Files app. A new commit and a new flag in the Chrome OS Dev Channel gives us a solid clue as to where the file management app built into the platform is heading.
The commit points to there being a revamp of the Files app to allow for four distinct sections: My Drive (Google Drive and Team Drive if you have a G Suite account), Linux files, Android Files, and File System Providers like Microsoft’s OneDrive or Dropbox.
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A second Chrome 67 based build for the Chrome OS Stable Channel has been released for most devices today. The new build is 67.0.3396.87 (Platform version: 10575.55.0) and follows up the initial release of Chrome 67 last week.
As a general rule, the Chromium team releases a build then follows it quickly with a second build that goes out to the majority of devices, especially those capable of running Android apps. This appears to be the case once again.
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