ChromeOS 107 is rolling out to users worldwide. Although this milestone release was slightly behind schedule, the final build was released closer to schedule than 106, which was over two weeks late. The last release of Chrome for desktop was relatively sparse in terms of features, but the OS version of Chrome actually came with a basket full of new and improved tricks that you’ll be interested in trying out. So let’s take a look at what’s new in ChromeOS 107.
In addition to ChromeOS’ ever-expanding productivity toolbox, ChromeOS 107 brings autoframing to the platform. For devices that support it, enabling auto-frame when using the camera will automatically zoom in on your face to keep you front and center in the frame. If your device supports auto-framing, you should see a toast notification when you open your camera for the first time after updating to 107. As you can see in the image below, you can find the switch for auto frame in your Chromebook’s quick settings menu. Note: If the camera or camera-enabled app is not open, the setting will disappear.
Close the lid without sleep
For users who need to lock their device while they’re away, but still need services to run, administrators can now configure ChromeOS devices to lock the screen when the lid is closed without putting the device to sleep. An example of where this might be useful is if you have an active SSH session and don’t want it to terminate when you close the lid or your device.
Recent files filter
To make things a little easier when searching in the Files App, the Recents tab now gives you categories. Now you can filter between Audio, Documents, Photos and Videos in the Endings tab with just one click.
Virtual Desktops has quickly become one of the most used productivity tools on ChromeOS in recent years. Even now, Google is trying to increase eight to sixteen maximum number of virtual desktops. Managing all these spaces can be a bit difficult, so Google added a handy feature that allows you to connect one table with the table next to it with one click. When viewing your tables in overview mode in ChromeOS 107, you’ll now see an icon to the left of the “X” used to close the table. This merge symbol will allow you to immediately move the contents of that table to the left table and remove that table from your queue.
We’ve been looking forward to this feature for months. In addition to merging tables, users can now save their own Tables for later storage. When you save a desktop, all tabs open on that Desktop will be saved and you can open them again later. To save your desktop, simply go to overview mode and you’ll see a “Save desktop for later” notification above your active apps. Click on it and your Desktop will be saved. Then, you’ll see the saved Desktop on the main screen, which you can click to reopen all your apps/tabs on the new Desktop.
Diacritics physical keyboard
It’s still behind the flag, but it’s a nice bonus feature in ChromeOS 107. Flag allows a library of diacritic and variant characters that can be accessed via long-press keys on the physical keyboard. This includes special accented letters that can be used in non-English languages and other characters not found on the standard keyboard. To enable the diacritics keyboard, simply point your browser to chrome://flags#enable-cros-diacritics-on-physical-keyboard-longpress, enable the flag, and restart your browser. Once enabled, when you long press a button in the text box, you will see a popup with available characters.
That’s about it for ChromeOS 107 at first glance, but I’ll keep digging to see what else might be hiding under the hood. We have another major update for 2022 and it will start on December 1st. To check ChromeOS 107, go to the settings menu via the system tray at the bottom right. Click the gear icon and find the About ChromeOS tab. Click on the icon and click on the “check for updates” button.