All Google Chromebooks, even the first beta devices, have a large software update waiting for them. On Tuesday, Google announced that the web-centric notebooks would get the newest version of the Chrome browser — version 21 — but also a number of small feature enhancements and new functionality. My own Chromebook was last updated on July 28, showing that Google continues to improve its Chromebook devices on a timely basis.
But there’s more than just a better browser: user interface changes, a newer version of Adobe Flash, support for more wired and wireless devices, and new plug-in versions are all included.
Here’s a rundown of some of the changes Chromebook users can expect after the update:
- A redesigned App list that doesn’t require a new screen; you can use it on the main desktop area
- A new print dialog that integrates Google Cloud Print devices
- Custom wallpaper
- Offline support to work in the Google Docs app
- LTE support in the modem manager
- Support for standard USB audio devices and wireless gamepads
- Updated plug-ins for GTalk and Netflix
- A three-finger tap works as a middle button on the trackpad
I’m most excited for the wireless gamepad support and it’s likely the first feature I’ll try after I get the update. If you look at my video overview of the Chromebook, you’ll see me show off an incredible web-based game called Bastion at the 9:15 mark of the vid:
The problem is: I don’t often play it because I’m terrible at navigating through game play on a keyboard. With wireless gamepad support that issue is addressed and I should be able to use the gamepad with my Android tablets as well.