Following updates to Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux last week, version 64 is now rolling out to Chrome OS. In addition to several browser enhacements, Chromebooks add a new screenshot shortcut and a number of changes for Android apps.

Convertible Chrome OS devices add a new Android-inspired shortcut for taking screenshots. Especially convenient in tablet mode, pressing the power and volume down buttons will capture your current screen.

Meanwhile, this version contains a bevy of Android app-related improvements. Release notes reveal a revamped Intent Picker for Play applications with a “same window by default with override” behavior. It is now possible to enable VPN for Play apps, while there are also “Android Container auto update optimizations.”

On the security front, there are “enhancements to our protected media pipeline for Android,” as well as additional browser mitigations against speculative side-channel attack techniques (Spectre). Otherwise, most Chrome OS devices are patched against Meltdown and Spectre as of version 63 in December.

Google also notes Lockscreen Performance Improvements that will hopefully improve log-in speed.

Lastly, this version includes a flag to easily enable a “Split view” feature for improved multitasking in tablet mode, while Android apps have been spotted with the ability to run in the background.

Browser improvements this version include:

  • An improved pop-up blocker to prevents sites with abusive experiences — like links disguised as easily clicked play buttons and site controls, or transparent overlays — from opening new tabs or windows.
  • Stopping malicious auto-redirects from third-party content embedded into pages by blocking third-party iframes unless a user has directly interacted with it.
  • Sitewide audio muting settings as part of Google’s push for more consistent media autoplay behavior. Located in the permissions dropdown (tap the info icon or green lock in the URL bar), users will be able to set sound behavior on a site-by-site basis.

Chrome OS 64 will be rolling out over the next several days.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: