Google's ChromeOS M123 update brings joyous customization options

Chrome logo on a Lenovo Chromebook
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is starting to push its April ChromeOS M123 update to devices packed with a few customization options.
  • Users can fully customize their keyboard and mouse so long as it features more than two buttons.
  • The latest ChromeOS update adds Hotspot to Chromebooks and a few house-cleaning updates for apps and text-to-speech.

Google is rolling out its April update for ChromeOS devices, which brings a few customization options for Chromebook users.

According to a Chromebook community post, Chromebook devices should begin receiving the latest ChromeOS M123 update in April. Customization features kick off this month's goodies, beginning with custom keyboard shortcuts. The post states that OS 123 lets users personalize their keyboard with "preferred key combinations."

Google adds that users can fine-tune their keyboards to fully function with one hand if necessary. Additionally, users can make their Chromebook keyboard simpler to use or appear similar to another keyboard they're accustomed to through this new shortcut function.

Users won't find this functionality easily when updating. Google states users must enable it through a flag: #enable-shortcut-customization. Keyboard shortcuts will be enabled by default during ChromeOS M124.

Connected mice are receiving love as the company includes several mouse button customization options. The post states if a user's mouse has more than two buttons, they can now assign those to handle tasks like snapping screenshots, muting/unmuting, adding emojis, and more.

More importantly, users can take a shortcut from their keyboard and assign it to a mouse button for convenience.

ChromeOS will finally pick up Tether Hotspot in April, too. Users can begin sharing their Chromebook's cellular connection by hopping into their Network Settings > Hotspot toggle. For now, Google states it only supports devices with T-Mobile service in the U.S., but it will look to add more "in future releases."

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

This month's ChromeOS update comes with two additional updates: language preferences per app on Android and "natural-sounding" text-to-speech voices. The former can be altered by hopping into Settings > Apps > Manage apps > App language. The latter involves a few new voices added to the ChromeOS TTS, which are said to work in offline mode. The voices can be used in 31 languages, per Google.

Users should begin receiving the latest ChromeOS M123 update today and as we finish off the week.

The ChromeOS M122 update came during the second half of March and was focused on delivering more security and privacy for users. Users gained more control over their geolocation and received more control over which apps could utilize their mics and cameras.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.

  • CajunMoses
    At least as of the April ChromeOS M123 update, the implementation of keyboard shortcut customization is significantly flawed. I mapped the Launcher function to the middle mouse button so that I could then turn around and map the Caps Lock function to the Launcher key (where it belongs). So far, so good. So I should now be able to depress the middle mouse button in all of the keyboard shortcuts that incorporate the Launcher function. But it doesn't work that way at all. For example, the keyboard shortcut Launcher + esc should open the task manager. But instead, it does nothing. Fortunately, the more frequently used keyboard shortcuts that incorporate the Launcher function can also be customized to incorporate the alt function instead of the Launcher function. So, for example, delete can be customized to be alt + backspace instead of Launcher + backspace.
  • CajunMoses
    I also found it extremely odd and disappointing that Chromebooks have THREE different ways to Lock device: keyboard, mouse, and keyboard shortcut. Yet Google didn't see fit to allow Chromebook users to remap the keyboard Lock device key. 😞