July 19, 2024
Google adds AI-powered features to Chromebook


Google announced new AI-powered features today for its Chromebook Plus line of devices, such as a writing assistant, a wallpaper creator and an easy access to Google’s Gemini chatbot. As a reminder, Chromebook Plus laptops are productivity-focused devices with minimum spec requirements. The company also unveiled new Chromebook Plus models from HP, Acer, and Asus.

The search giant added plenty of Gemini-powered features to Maps and calls for spam detection during its Google I/O developer conference earlier this month. Google is now placing the Gemini icon on the app shelf of Chromebooks for easy access.

What’s more, users buying a new Chromebook Plus will get the Google One AI Premium plan for 12 months. This plan allows them to access Gemini Advanced, 2TB of storage, and Gemini in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Gmail.

Earlier this year, Google introduced a writing tool within Chrome to help people write or reformat text anywhere. The company is now adding this ability to rewrite text systemwide on Chromebook Plus devices. Users can select text on PDFs, websites, or web apps to help them reshape the tone and length.

Image Credits: Google

Google is also adding a tool to Chromebook Plus for folks to generate wallpapers and video conferencing backgrounds through guided prompts. Last year, the company also added a generative AI-powered wallpaper tool to Android 14.

Chromebook Plus devices are also getting a generative AI-powered magic editor in Google Photos. This feature lets you shift or resize selected objects, and AI takes care of background regeneration based on the changes.

Features for all Chromebooks

New budget Chromebook customers and existing Chromebook users will also receive new features. First, Google is making it easy for you to set up a new Chromebook device. Now, you can scan a QR code from your Android phone while setting up, and your phone will share essential details like Wi-Fi credentials and Google account information.

Image Credits: Google

Chromebooks are also getting a handy Tasks integration in the calendar view. You can tap on the calendar view from the bottom right and look at all your to-do items from all Google Workspace apps.

Image Credits: Google

The company is also adding support for saving screen recordings in GIF format and a new Game dashboard with the ability to map mobile controls to keys.

Upcoming features

Finally, Google is teasing some of the upcoming features coming to Chromebooks soon. Last year, the company introduced an accessible gaming mouse through Project Gameface, which allows players to control the device through face and head movement. Now, it is working on integrating this feature into ChromeOS to let users navigate the interface through gestures.

Image Credits: under a Google license.

Chromebooks are also getting Gemini-powered reading summaries of websites and documents. The feature will allow users to ask questions about the documents or the articles, too.

Google will be adding a new feature for continuity to let you resume tasks like reading an article that you left off on Chrome on your phone. When this feature rolls out, every time you open your laptop, a screen will show you suggested windows, apps, and tabs that you left open on other devices.

Image Credits: Google

The company is also working on a focus-related feature. The system will let you pick a task, a timeframe to complete it, and a YouTube Music playlist to listen to. During this time, it will turn on the “Do not disturb” mode to block out all notifications.

New devices

Along with the feature announcements, Google also unveiled six new Chromebooks — four Chromebook Plus and two budget Chromebooks — from HP, Acer, and Asus. These Chromebooks range from a pocket-friendly price of $299 to $699.



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