Chromebooks are finally getting a proper video player with Chrome OS 91

Lenovo Chromebook
Lenovo Chromebook (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

Update, June 2 (07:50 am ET): Google has rolled out this new video player with Chrome OS 91

What you need to know

  • Google is testing an improved video player for Chrome OS.
  • The video player offers a much better UI with a floating box at the bottom that includes all the media controls you would expect.
  • It can be accessed in Chrome OS Canary v91.0.4463.0.

The Chrome OS video player hasn't received a major update in years, and isn't anywhere near as feature-rich as users would expect. Fortunately, Google has finally started testing a new video player for Chrome OS that has a much more appealing UI and comes with enhanced controls.

As reported by Android Police, the new player is now live in Chrome OS Canary version 91.0.4463.0. While you don't need to have the best Chromebook to try out the new player, you must enable it via the Media App Video flag (chrome://flags/#media-app-video) first.

As you can see in the screenshots above, the new video player has a floating box at the bottom, instead of the long scrubbing bar in the current player. The floating box includes all the controls that you would expect, including play/pause, volume, scrubbing, full-screen, as well as skip forward and backward buttons.

Additionally, the new player's overflow menu includes picture-in-picture (PIP) and looping options. While you can't load .vtt subtitles in the player currently, there is a good chance that the functionality could be supported once the player rolls out to everyone. There's no word yet on exactly when that might happen, but it should hit the stable channel sometime in the coming weeks.

Update, June 2 (7:50 am ET) — Google has rolled out the new video player with Chrome OS 91

Alongside Nearby Share, a new diagnostics app, and app notifications, Google has brought this new video player to all Chrome OS users with Chrome OS 91.

Babu Mohan
News Writer
  • This is great......but can someone tell me when chromebooks will get hardware acceleration for h.265/hevc??
  • I use VLC and it's great
  • Yes, but it uses software acceleration which uses a lot more battery than hardware acceleration. Also, try running a 10bit 4k h.265 file and VLC is very choppy.
  • The controls take up a large part of the video screen and only disappear when there's no mouse movement.
    E.g. if you want to pause without the controls, it's not possible. If you want to take a screenshot of the paused video, it's not possible. The controls are way to big as well.
    As usual, Google don't check their stuff properly for User Experience.