What you need to know
- The stable Chrome OS M94 update has started rolling out.
- It brings a few new accessibility features, including enhanced voice for Select-to-speak.
- Google says the update and the new features associated with it will progressively roll out over the coming days.
Google has started rolling out Chrome OS 94, which is the last update before the company moves to a four-week update cycle. As announced by the company a few weeks back, it won't be releasing the M95 update, and the next major Chrome OS update will only arrive at the end of November.
The latest Chrome OS M94 update brings enhanced voices for the Select-to-speak feature on Chromebooks. The new, more human-sounding voices will be available in various accents in 25 languages initially, with more expected to arrive over the coming months.
This is the second time this year that Google has rolled out improvements to the Select-to-speak feature. Earlier this year, Google made the feature more useful by adding controls to speed up, slow down, and pause the reading voice.
Google worked with educators specializing in dyslexia to develop the feature. The educators shared that a more natural-sounding voice makes it easier for individuals with dyslexia to follow along with the content being read.
If you have received the Chrome OS M94 update already, you can try out the feature by enabling Select-to-speak in Chromebook settings and choosing your preferred voice. Next, select the text you want to be read out and press the Everything Button or Launcher Key + S. The latest Chrome OS update also includes several bug fixes and other minor improvements.
As is usually the case, it will take a few days for the Chrome OS M94 update to reach all of the best Chromebooks. Google says the update "will be progressively rolling out over the coming days."
Chrome OS M96 will likely bring a lot more new features, including updates to the Chrome OS' Phone Hub feature. As suggested by a recent commit added to the Chromium Gerrit, Google may soon make it possible for Pixel users to take phone calls on their Chromebook.
I'll stay with my Surface Pro 7.
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