Why Chrome OS Updates Are Encouraging

Affordability, accessibility, and longevity

Key Takeaways

  • Chrome OS’s latest update adds Live Captions, a new Diagnostics app, and easier searching.
  • Experts say the update is a continuation of Google’s improved support for Chrome OS devices.
  • Continued support from Google could lead to Chromebooks becoming some of the most accessible and affordable computers available to users.
A group of three friends using a Samsung Chromebook.

Brooke Cagle / Unsplash

The latest update for Chrome OS makes Google’s more-affordable laptops even more accessible and easier to troubleshoot.

Despite being popular and easy to use, Chromebooks haven’t had the best record of support and updates. Google has been trying to change that for a few years now, and the latest update only improves what Chrome OS has to offer by adding new accessibility features and better troubleshooting.

"The most exciting update we've found is definitely the Live Captions," Remco Bravenboer, the owner of Laptoid, told Lifewire in an email.

"Another update, which is pretty exciting, is the Diagnostics app that will be coming to Chrome OS in this update. It will be some sort of toolkit that can help users troubleshoot all their Chromebook problems."

Finding Accessibility

Live Captions is easily one of the most significant features to make its way to Chrome OS since the launch of the first Chromebooks in 2011. Google previously launched the same feature in Chrome on PCs, but it’s now making the jump to most Chrome OS devices, too.

"Another update, which is pretty exciting, is the Diagnostics app that will be coming to Chrome OS in this update."

Google hasn’t said exactly which devices will get it, but if your Chromebook was released in the past few years, you shouldn’t have much trouble upgrading to it.

Bravenboer says that the update took a bit longer to bring to Chrome OS devices because it relies on a special decoder built into the operating system.

Now that it’s available, though, it helps make Chromebooks even more appealing to those who rely on captions when viewing media and other content.

The Support Problem

While Google has been working to offer extended support for Chromebooks, a big part of the most recent update hopefully will help reduce the issues users are having. 

Technology can make your life a lot easier. Despite how far along computers and other electronics have come, there always can be hiccups. Google’s new Diagnostic app looks to help make troubleshooting those problems much easier.

"Google has given a lot of thought to its Diagnostic app," Alina Clark, co-founder of CocoDoc, told Lifewire in an email. 

Clark says the app should allow users to easily troubleshoot problems with their batteries and other issues. It will lead them to support pages, and even look for other solutions to help them get things back up and running.

And if you can’t find a solution to your problem, you can capture a log of the troubleshooting session, which you can then share with a qualified customer service representative.

All around, Clark hopes the app will make finding solutions to common Chromebook tech issues much more accessible, especially for those who may not have in-depth technical knowledge of Google’s laptop OS.

Going Mainstream

The most notable thing about these updates is that Google continues to push to bring new features to Chrome OS. Though the operating system is now more than a decade old, past updates have been fairly lackluster.

Since renewing support for the Chrome OS-based devices in 2019, Google has released several additional updates to make its computers more accessible, and Clark hopes we will continue to see more surprises from the company in the future.

Screenshot of Google Launcher on the Chrome OS.

With rumors of Google creating its own chipset for its Pixel devices, there also has been speculation that we’ll see Google-made chips in future Chromebooks. This could help make them more appealing to mainstream users if they can offer similar support to things like the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.

While it’s unclear exactly what Google’s goal with Chromebooks will be, it is good to see the company adding much-needed features like Live Captions and better troubleshooting for users that need them.

The newly designed Launcher also will be handy, Clark notes, as users can search for things in their Chromebook much quicker than before.

"Google is also making the Launcher more powerful," she explained.

Instead of requiring users to type in their query and then wait for results to open in a new window, you can simply type in the content you’re looking for, and Chrome OS will display it directly below the search bar. You can then tap on that item to open it in a window, should you need to.

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