Google on Tuesday announced an update to Chrome OS that includes a few new features designed to enhance the everyday experience. The update – Chrome OS 88 – will be released to supported Chromebooks starting today.
One of the new features is faster and easier login online. Instead of entering a long password, Chrome OS 88 will allow users to log in securely to supported sites with a PIN or fingerprint configured with Google’s new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) feature.
“Websites that support WebAuthn allow you to use your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID – if your Chromebook has a fingerprint reader – instead of the password you set for the site,” Google said. “And if you use 2-Step Verification to sign in, your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID can be used as the second factor, so you no longer have to pull out your security key or phone to authenticate.”
Websites that support WebAuthn include Dropbox, Github and Okta.
In addition to faster and easier online sign-in, Chrome OS 88 also includes personalized lock screen features. Now you can choose your favorite photos from Google Photos or choose from hundreds of art gallery images. You can also use the lock screen to check information such as the current weather and the music being played. To use these features yourself, go to Chrome OS Settings> Personalization> Screensaver.
Whether you have a Chromebook or are planning to buy one of the many Chromebooks announced at CES 2021, these new additions to Chrome OS 88 should enhance your daily experience. I’m particularly excited about customizing the lock screen because it essentially turns a Chromebook into a smart screen.
In the latest major update to Chrome OS, Google introduced several useful new features, including tab search, Bluetooth battery level in settings, and new wallpapers. Google said more features will be announced for Chrome OS in March.