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HomeTechnologyGadgetsGoogle is bringing tons of AI-powered software features to Chromebook Plus laptops

Google is bringing tons of AI-powered software features to Chromebook Plus laptops

Two weeks ago, Google A slew of new artificial intelligence features announced at the I/O Developer Conference. Microsoft Followed suit last week With the launch of Copilot+ PC comes, you guessed it, a host of new artificial intelligence capabilities. As expected, Google announced its response to the Copilot+ PC initiative…the humble Chromebook. Chromebook Plus Series First announced in October last year, be more specific. When Google first released the Chromebook Plus, it focused on a combination of higher-performance hardware and some modest AI software features compared to regular Chromebooks.

Now, however, Google is delivering on what it originally announced: Chromebook Plus models will get a bunch of features that Google first revealed last year, as well as some new ones we’ve never heard of before.

Google AI features for Chromebook Plus

Google

First, Google’s “Write for Me” function Soft launch earlier this year Now available on all Chromebook Plus laptops. This should work for any text input field you find on a website, whether it’s a Google product like Gmail or a site like Facebook. You can use it to get prompts, or have it analyze something you’ve already written to make it more formal or interesting (although Google does admit that the jury is still out on whether AI is actually interesting). Basically, it is a text generation tool that can be used on the web. It’s not surprising to see it coming to Chromebooks, as Google said back in February that you could turn it on in Chrome for Windows and Mac. But Google says it’s implementing it at the operating system level on Chromebooks so you can use it outside of the browser

The next feature is another one Google announced last fall that was purely for fun. The built-in image generator will allow you to generate wallpapers and video call backgrounds by typing prompts. It’s not at all different from what you’d do with other image generators, although I can’t yet say how fast it works or how well it sticks to your requirements. Google has some tips for you to try or customize to get you started.

Chromebook Plus AI-generated wallpaper

Google

The last update was Magic Editor in Google Photos Appears on laptops only as a Chromebook Plus device. First available on Google Pixel devices, Magic Editor has been part of the Google One subscription plan for some time, but now it’s more widely available as long as your phone meets the minimum specifications. However, for laptops, the Chromebook Plus model is the only one that can use Magic Editor. The reason seems simple: Chromebooks can run Android apps, including Google Photos.

Google Photo Magic Editor

Google

However, if you want to use Magic Editor on a larger screen than your phone, doing so on a Chromebook seems like a good option. As a refresher, Magic Editor basically lets you manipulate your photos in a variety of ways to alter the authenticity of what you’re shooting, but faster and easier than using tools like Photoshop. You can select people or objects to move them, have the app turn a cloudy sky blue, resize or remove other objects, generally making it harder to believe that the photos you create or share are real.

As expected, Google is also integrating the Gemini chatbot more directly into Chromebooks by pre-installing the app and installing it directly on the launcher. What’s more, Google is offering Chromebook Plus buyers a full year of the Google One AI Premium plan, which puts Gemini features into Gmail, Docs, and other Workplace apps. It also includes access to Gemini Advanced, which adds support for uploading documents for analysis and more, as well as Gemini Pro 1.5 and its 1 million token contextual windows (Google says this will soon be increased to 2 million tokens ) access support.

Given that the Google One AI plan costs $20 per month, which is double the standard price of a 2TB storage plan, this is a pretty good perk for Chromebook Plus buyers, even if they don’t care about using the Gemini. It sounds like you’ll be able to get Google One’s AI option even if you’re already subscribed to another Google One plan.

All Chromebooks will also receive some new software tweaks. Perhaps the most notable is the Game Dashboard, a kind of control center for game-related activities. While most Chromebooks still can’t run many games, there are now more options between cloud gaming services like GeForce Now and Android Games. In fact, Google said that 25% of Chromebook users use Chromebooks to play games, and the number of people using Chromebooks to play games has increased by 40% over the past year.

ChromeOS Gaming Dashboard

Google

The gaming dashboard has a lot of features, but the most notable is the comprehensive key mapping system. This allows you to play games designed for a controller or touch screen and have their buttons mapped to various keys on your laptop. For Android games with specific swipe patterns, you can say that pressing a certain key is the same as making a specific swipe in a certain direction.

It also offers a one-click recording feature that will start recording your gameplay if you want to appear in a video as well as record your gameplay view through your laptop’s webcam. You can also quickly upload to various services like YouTube or Discord from the game dashboard. This feature is exclusive to the Chromebook Plus, at least for now.

ChromeOS calendar and task integration

Google

Other new features include integrating Google Tasks into menu columns – there’s already a calendar widget that shows you upcoming appointments, and now it’ll also show you items from your task list, making it a reminder of what’s coming up A reliable one-stop look into your day. Screen recorders can now produce GIFs, something we all wish we could do at any time. Now you can set up your Android phone with your Chromebook, too. If you scan the QR code on your Chromebook with the phone you’re setting up, your Google Account and Wi-Fi information will all be synced.

But it’s more than that. Google also Just like last fall, a slew of upcoming software features were announced that are worth looking forward to. I’m excited to get a sneak peek, and since Google is really delivering on what they showed back in October, I’m sure we’ll see much of it sooner or later.

The most important one is the “Help me read” function supported by Google Gemini. As the name suggests, it will provide a summary of a web page, file, or PDF, and you can ask follow-up questions. Of course, your results may vary depending on how useful this all is. Google is also working on an AI-powered overview screen that pops up when you open your laptop. Instead of dropping you back into the dozens of tabs you already have, it will try to organize and show you Open apps and pages so you can decide where to go from there. It also takes into account actions you take on Chrome on other devices, so if you’ve been reading on your phone, you can get back to reading on your laptop.

Google Help Me Read AI feature

Google

Likewise, there’s a new focus tool that combines Google Tasks and YouTube Music with a countdown timer. Basically, you select an urgent task, a playlist, and a timer, and then go into Do Not Disturb mode while you start doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Not exactly a game changer, but it’s kind of clever.

ChromeOS calendar and task integration

Google

Perhaps most interesting are the new accessibility features based on Hands-free “Project Gameface” tool It was demonstrated at the I/O conferences in 2023 and 2024. Complete the operation. It’s still “early” in the project’s timeline, so I don’t think we’ll see this in six months, but it’s definitely an important feature that could make Chromebooks more useful to more people.

Google hands-free control

Google

Of course, Google and its hardware partners are launching a new line of Chromebook Plus devices to go with it all – you can Read about the new hardware here. As for software, everything should be rolling out starting today, except for all the features Google promised to roll out later.

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