Chromebook Plus: A comprehensive look at new features and updates

Google this week announced a wave of updates for Chromebooks, with a particular focus on Chromebook Plus models. These updates include new built-in Google AI features, improved integration with other Google services, and several new Chromebook devices.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Google this week announced a wave of updates for Chromebooks, with a particular focus on Chromebook Plus models. These updates include new built-in Google AI features, improved integration with other Google services, and several new Chromebook devices.

Chromebook Plus with Built-in Google AI Features

Help Me Write: This AI-powered tool allows users to write more effectively within various web apps and platforms. It offers suggestions for rephrasing text, changing tone, or even generating content from scratch.

Generative AI Wallpapers and Video Call Backgrounds: Chromebook Plus users can leverage Google AI to create custom and dynamic wallpapers and video call backgrounds directly on their device.

Magic Editor on Google Photos: Previously available only on smartphones, Magic Editor arrives on Chromebook Plus, allowing users to edit photos with features like object removal, background adjustment, and lighting correction.

Gemini Integration: A conversational AI tool, Gemini comes pre-installed on Chromebook Plus, enabling users to brainstorm ideas, plan trips, write documents, and more through an interactive chat interface.

Google One AI Premium Subscription: New Chromebook Plus users will receive a complimentary 12-month subscription to Google One AI Premium, which includes access to advanced Gemini features, 2TB of cloud storage, and integration of Gemini within various Google Workspace apps.

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Help Me Write

New Features for All Chromebooks

Simplified Chromebook Setup with Android Phone: Setting up a new Chromebook becomes easier with the ability to scan a QR code using your Android phone. This transmits Wi-Fi credentials and Google account details, eliminating the need for manual entry.

One-Click Access to Google Tasks: A new, built-in view of Google Tasks allows users to add or check off to-dos directly from their Chromebook home screen by simply clicking on the date in the corner.

Seamless GIF Screen Recording: The built-in screen capture tool now offers the option to automatically save recordings in GIF format, enabling users to create reaction GIFs or short demonstrations.

Enhanced Gaming with Game Dashboard: The new Game Dashboard empowers gamers to control their experience by mapping mobile game controls to their Chromebook keyboard.

Upcoming Chromebook Features (Expected in the coming year)

Help Me Read with Gemini: Chromebook Plus users will be able to summarize websites and PDFs with a right-click. Additionally, users can ask follow-up questions based on the content, receiving AI-generated answers for deeper understanding.

Pick Up Where You Left Off: A new feature will display previously opened windows, tabs, and apps upon login, eliminating the hassle of searching for resumed work sessions. Furthermore, suggestions from other Google Workspace devices will ensure a smooth workflow transition across different operating systems.

Focus Mode: Designed to enhance concentration, Focus Mode allows users to designate a time window, choose a Google Task to complete, and select a YouTube Music playlist. Chromebook will then automatically activate Do Not Disturb and track progress towards task completion.

AI-powered Hands-Free Control: Building upon Project Gameface, Google is developing hands-free control with face and gesture tracking. This will enable Chromebook users to compose and send emails, open and use apps, or browse the web without needing a keyboard or third-party software.

New Chromebook Plus Devices for Educators (from Acer)

Acer Chromebook Spin 714: This 14-inch convertible Chromebook boasts an Intel MTL-U processor with a built-in stylus, ideal for educators who require a versatile device for tasks like digital whiteboarding.

Focus on Saving Educators Time: New features like Help Me Write can streamline tasks like providing feedback on student work or sending updates to parents. Integration with Google Tasks and Calendar facilitates to-do list management, while new video tools with noise cancellation enhance remote learning experiences. Content creation tools like the GIF maker and Screencast further support educators in crafting engaging lessons. Integration of Gemini with Google Workspace for Education empowers educators with advanced AI-powered functionalities for lesson planning and content creation. Admin controls for all generative AI features will be implemented in the coming months.

New Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, and HP

Acer Chromebook Plus Spin 714: This high-performance option features the latest generation Intel Core Ultra processor in a portable convertible design.

HP Chromebook Plus x360: This 14-inch convertible Chromebook prioritizes everyday productivity and entertainment, featuring a sleek design with a micro-edge display and up to 10 hours and 15 minutes of battery life. It also boasts eco-conscious construction using recycled materials.

ASUS Chromebook Plus CX34: This Chromebook receives a performance upgrade with the 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. It features a sleek 14-inch clamshell design, 180-degree lay-flat hinges,

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