What you need to know
- The stable build of ChromeOS 119 is now rolling out to compatible Chromebooks.
- This update includes the ability to install Steam on ChromeOS without enabling any experimental flags.
- ChromeOS 119 also brings the new Google Drive File Sync feature for Chromebook Plus models.
While you might be trying to decide on what Black Friday Chromebook deals you should take advantage of, Google is rolling out a new update that might help. ChromeOS 119 is starting to arrive on most Chromebooks, bringing with it the ability to install Steam right from the app drawer.
Until now, you could install and use Steam on compatible Chromebooks, but you still needed to enable a flag before it would be possible. That's no longer the case as there's a new Steam icon that appears in your app drawer after the ChromeOS 119 update is finished installing.
If you're not really keen on playing Steam on your Chromebook, you don't have to worry about the app coming pre-installed. Instead, this is just a quick shortcut to the Steam Installer, as opposed to the full version of the app. This is actually a great move as it lets you decide whether to install Steam on your Chromebook or not.
Besides that, there are a few other features that ChromeOS 119 brings. We have been seeing Google make progress within ChromeOS to improve the Privacy Hub, and the latest addition has arrived. You can now toggle both the camera and microphone on or off from this hub,
Another notable addition is the option to enable the new Google Drive File Sync feature for Chromebook Plus models. This is designed to make it much easier to work on your Chromebook even if it's not connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
The biggest thing that you'll have to worry about is how much storage you have on your Chromebook itself. Say, for example, that you have the Acer Chromebook Plus 515, which comes equipped with 128GB of storage, but you're subscribed to the 200GB plan in Google One.
Basically, this means that if you want to sync files between Drive and your Chromebook for offline use, you won't be able to. This is simply due to the physical storage limits of the Chromebook Plus 515, so you'll either need to avoid using this feature or upgrade to a new Chromebook with more storage.
Tab Groups are an efficient way to try and keep your Chrome tabs organized, and as noted by About Chromebooks, you can finally "save and recall" these groups. This isn't available out of the box, as you'll instead need to enable the #tab-groups-save flag on your Chromebook.
Once enabled, you can right-click a Tab Group and select the option to Save from the drop-down menu. As for recalling, you should see the name of the tab group right in your bookmarks bar. Clicking the button will bring up any tabs within the group right into the browser window that you are viewing. This also means that you can recall tab groups even if you are using Chrome on Windows or macOS, provided that the flag is enabled.
Chances are, your Chromebook has already updated to the stable build of ChromeOS 119. But, you can always check to see if the update has arrived and install it yourself in case you were still stuck on a previous version.
An incredible experience
Acer's Chromebook 516 GE is definitely designed with gaming in mind thanks to its RGB keyboard and impressive display with a 120Hz refresh rate. However, it's also one of the best Chromebooks that money can buy, even if you just want a great Chromebook.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.