Almost two weeks after Chrome 65 arrived on Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux, it is now available for Chrome OS. On the security front, this update notably patches against Spectre variant 2 and Meltdown on older Intel devices. There are also a number of user-facing and enterprise changes in this version.

Chrome OS 63 in mid-December patched against Meltdown on newer Intel Chromebooks with kernels 3.18 and 4.4. The Kernel Page Table Isolation mitigation is now available on kernel 3.14 devices with version 65.

All Intel Chrome OS devices with today’s update are also getting patched with the Retpoline mitigation for Spectre variant 2. The compiler-based fix prevents kernel-to-user, guest-to-guest, and host-to-guest information leaks.

Meanwhile, in Chrome OS 65, users can whimsically set a short video as their profile icon. The “Take Photo” tool in the People menu gains the ability to record video in addition to snapping a regular frame with the front-facing camera. This clip plays on your lockscreen, but fortunately remains a still in the bottom-right corner of the dock.

On the practical front, the Launcher’s search functionality now surfaces local files after previously being restricted to Google Drive and local device folders. Google also notes “Expanded unzipping support within Files app for files hosted on Drive.”

The Select-to-Speak accessibility feature now allows users to control the pitch with six options ranging from Lowest to Highest. Users were previously limited to customizing the speech rate.

Other changes include:

  • ARC++ WM resize shadow and drag magnetization
  • MIDI API support for Android apps running on Chrome OS
  • Advanced options screen for tablet setup
  • New setting for more accurate timezone detection

There are also several new features for enterprise users with this update:

  • Enterprise policy for keeping account sign-in consistent between browser and device
  • Kiosk mode now supports mix mode for external displays, extended and mirroring mode simultaneously
  • Automatic Re-Enrollment for managed devices
  • Support device-wide certificates in SAML SSO sign-in

Chrome OS 65 will be available on all devices over the “next several days.”

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Abner Li

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