What you need to know
- Android 11 is rolling out for users on Chrome OS beta, the first version update since Android 9.
- The update finally brings support for dark mode on Chromebooks, although it still needs some work.
- App scaling also seems to have been improved with the update.
Google has a curious way of updating Chrome OS, which has been stuck on Android 9 for some time despite the availability of Android 11 for smartphones. Chrome OS 89 recently brought a ton of new features to the platform, such as the long-awaited Phone Hub, but that was still based on Android 9. There were talks of Google testing Android 12 on Chrome OS now that the developer preview is out for smartphones, but instead, it seems like Android 11 is actually on the way thanks to a recent beta release.
Android Police has been testing the new beta release on some of the best Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and the HP Chromebook x360 14c, and have noticed a few welcome improvements, one of which finally includes a system-wide dark mode... sort of.
According to Android Police, the dark theme is applied fairly well across the system. They note some inconsistencies with how it's applied on some apps and notifications associated with quick actions. Given that this is a beta release, it's expected that some features may require some additional polish.
Another welcome change is how Chrome OS handles app scaling, which Google has tried to address in the past, to no avail. With Android 11, app elements are now larger, and users can adjust scaling in developer options.
It seems that only certain machines are getting the update, so it may take some time for more people on the beta channel to receive Android 11. If you want to try out some of these new features, you can follow our guide on how to change your software channel on Chrome OS.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.