What you need to know
- Google today finally announced Linux on Chromebook's exit from beta status.
- This change will happen on the next release of Chrome OS.
- Google also confirmed that Android 11 was coming to Chromebooks with Chrome OS 90, bringing improved Android app support.
Google today at I/O announced that Linux on Chromebooks would finally be coming out of beta with the release of Chrome OS 91. The company had offered Linux apps on Chrome OS alongside Android apps, hoping to reach an audience of developers with IDEs and so on. However, the Linux Development Environment, as Google had dubbed it, had been in beta ever since while first launched. The company had added new features at a steady cadence, enabling things like GPU acceleration, better support for USB drives, and so on so people could be more productive while using Linux apps.
Alongside Linux, Google also announced that it would be bringing Android 11 to Chromebooks. Technically, the update has already started with Chrome OS 90 for select Chromebooks, and it'll come with a host of new features including increased optimization of Android apps and a new dark theme. Google's increased support of Android is no coincidence. The company says that the operating system sees 3x increased usage of Android apps, and the new Android 11 update will see Android move to a virtual machine rather than the current container based method, making it easier to update in the future.
Google also said that as many as 50 new Chromebooks were coming later this year, up from an earlier 40 it had alluded to back in February. Chromebooks may not have been something to get excited about years ago, but many of the best Chromebooks are sleek hardware offerings in their own right.
In recent months, Google has piled feature upon feature into Chrome OS, with its most notable ones being the addition of Nearby Share and Phone Hub in Chrome OS 89.
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