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Daily Authority: 💻 Time to reevaluate Chrome OS

The state of Chrome OS in 2022, Motorola's upcoming flagship killer, Google Matter expansion, and more tech news today!
By
December 16, 2022
Chrome OS Cursive app
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

🎁 Happy Friday, everyone! Christmas is just over a week away (if you celebrate), and we still only have two presents under the tree. Time to get wrapping!

Chrome OS in 2022

Chrome OS Phone Hub stock photos 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Chrome OS has been around in some form or another for more than a decade now, but if you aren’t a student it’s entirely possible that it’s fallen off of your radar. However, a recent post by my colleague Rita El Khoury highlights why 2022 was the year she fell back in love with her Pixelbook and Chrome OS, and she makes a convincing argument to revisit the platform.

  • I highly recommend you read the whole piece, but here’s a little tl;dr.
  • Rita first started using Chromebooks in 2015, and eventually picked up a discounted Google Pixelbook in 2017.
  • (Sidenote, I’m hugely disappointed that the Pixelbook team was disbanded this year. But that’s neither here nor there.)
  • Five years later, it’s still her only laptop, but she found herself using it less and less.
  • This year, she realized her laptop wasn’t updating for whatever reason, and once fixed, she received a flood of new features.
  • For her, it was like a new laptop. Chrome OS has become way more powerful than she realized, and now she’s back on the Chrome OS hype train.

So what are those new features? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Chrome OS and Android phones are now tightly integrated, with the Phone Hub feature showing recent pictures, mobile Chrome tabs, and more on your Chromebook screen. You can even use it to quickly set up a hotspot without touching your phone.
  • Productivity tools like a built-in PDF editor and enhanced screen captures (including video and audio recordings) are also helpful features if you use your Chromebook for work.
  • Due to the rise of Chromebook tablets, Chrome OS has become much more finger-friendly. Thumbnails and toggles are much larger, and gestures offer quick shortcuts.
  • Likewise for stylus support. Preloaded apps like Canvas and Cursive allow you to draw, take notes, and more using any supported stylus.
  • There’s also a clipboard manager that remembers the last five items you copied for easy pasting. I wish this feature were baked into Windows and macOS too!
  • A new dark mode, better Android app support, and the ability to install Linux or Steam games are a few other new features worth mentioning.

Ready to revisit Chrome OS? Check out our picks for the best Chromebooks and Chromebook tablets, as well as our extensive guide to Chromebooks and their capabilities.

Roundup

🔮 We got an exclusive interview with Carl Pei about his plans for Nothing phones, and the challenges of running a tech company with a small team (Android Authority).

📱 Motorola’s new flagship is here with crazy-good specs and a crazier price. A Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 165Hz screen for under $500? Yes, please (Android Authority).

💼 Meanwhile, a leak suggests Motorola may also be making a smartphone for its parent company Lenovo under the “ThinkPhone” brand (Android Authority).

🏠 Google has enabled Matter on Google, Nest, and Android products, making it easier to customize your smart home with other brands (Android Authority).

🤦 Off the deep end: Elon Musk starts banning critical journalists from Twitter. He also ignored the results of his own poll when users suggested he unban them “now” (The Verge).

🙅 Twitter is also now banning links to its competitor, Mastodon. The ship is sinking and there has never been a better time to check out Twitter alternatives (The Verge, Android Authority).

🎮 Valve revealed future plans for the Steam Deck, although a “Pro” model is unlikely, for now (Android Authority).

♻️ Too good to be true? All types of plastics are now recyclable thanks to two companies (Interesting Engineering).

📺 Looking for something to watch this weekend? Here are the best new streaming movies worth checking out (Android Authority).

Friday fun

empire strikes back
lucasfilm

Although many classic movies have aged extremely well, the same cannot be said about movie trailers. To help remedy this, some YouTubers have taken to creating modern trailers for classic movies. A favorite of mine is this trailer for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by Floris De Canne. The same channel has modern trailers for the full original Star Wars trilogy, but The Empire Strikes Back is and will always be the best Star Wars movie in my book (don’t @ me).

For comparison, check out the original theatrical trailer here. Not even narration by Harrison Ford himself can save this from hardcore 70s cheese, and the inclusion of a deleted brother-sister kiss at the mention of “romance” is particularly eyebrow-raising.

I’ve got Andor on my watch list for the weekend, but here’s the full Disney Plus Star Wars catalog if you want to dive back into a galaxy far, far away.

May the force be with you,

Nick Fernandez, Editor.