Three Hidden Chrome OS 91 Features You Should Activate Right Now
It’s been a few days since Chrome OS 91 landed on Chromebooks, which introduced useful features like Nearby Share and a proficient media player. After its release, we took the new update deeper and found even more that could improve your Chromebook experience. Here are three experimental but useful features that we found that you can try out right now.
Get the Windows Recycle Bin for Chrome OS
We have all made the dreaded mistake of deleting the wrong file by accident. Unlike Windows, Chromebooks don’t allow you to restore the file or folder you deleted. But with a hidden Chrome flag, your laptop will now be more forgiving of us accidental erasers. The experiment adds a Trash folder to Chrome OS, functioning similarly to the always iconic Trash found on Windows. You can enable it right now by copying and pasting the following URL into Chrome’s address bar and enabling its toggle:
Activate the recycle bin for the My Files volume in the Files app. – Chrome OS
Once you restart your device, you will see a new “Trash” entry in the file manager navigation pane.
The Trash folder in the Chrome OS file manager.
The concept of the Trash feature is simple: When you delete a file or folder, Chrome OS moves it to the Trash folder. It will temporarily rename the contents of the recycle bin to the file path of its original location. You can choose to wipe individual files, restore them, or empty the recycle bin – only do this if you’re sure you don’t want the files to be recycle bin anymore. Better late than never, offering the option to restore files will prevent countless important documents from being accidentally deleted.
Transcribe Speech Using Live Caption
Google announced Live Caption for Chromebooks when Chrome OS 90 released a few months ago. To recap, Live Caption lets you play along with the content you watch by generating real-time captions with impressive accuracy – and it works offline, too. Although Google has said its captioning feature will arrive “in the coming weeks,” it still hasn’t landed for everyone. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting this feature, turn on the following flag and restart your Chromebook:
Enables the live captioning feature which generates captions for media played in Chrome. Activate the feature in chrome: // settings / accessibility. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
Once your session has restarted, go to accessibility settings in system preferences and turn on the Live Caption switch. If it complains that you cannot download the voice files, you will need to disable chrome: // flags / # enable-accessibility-live-caption-soda. This should make it work – at the cost of decreased transcription accuracy.
Live captions for Chromebooks.
Live Caption is expected to hit Chromebooks soon, and we can’t wait for it because it’s one of Android’s best features.
Improve productivity with Progressive Web App tabs
Progressive web apps currently launch as a single window on Chrome OS. While this may look like a native app, some web apps (like Figma) benefit from a tabbed user interface. It’s especially annoying when you visit links inside the PWA – Chrome will put a giant address bar at the top, taking up more vertical space. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait much longer for Google to do something about this, as it is working on a tabbed UI for improved productivity. Copy and paste the URLs below into Chrome’s address bar, enable them, and restart your Chromebook:
Experimental user interface to explore what PWA windows would look like with a strip of tabs. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
chrome: // flags / # enable-desktop-pwas-tab-strip-link-capturing
Experimental behavior of “Desktop PWA Tab Strips” to capture the link navigations in the scope of the application and bring them to the tabbed window of the application. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
To launch a progressive tabbed web app or Chrome shortcut, right-click the icon, hover over the “New Window” arrow, and select “New Tabbed Window” from the context menu. If you are installing a web application, there will be a new checkbox to install it and launch it in a tabbed window. The links inside the app will open in the window instead of opening a new Chrome tab.
There’s no denying that Chromebooks evolve with every major update. It may take a few more Chrome OS updates for these hidden features to arrive, but they offer an exciting preview of what will happen to Chrome OS in the future.