Google is bringing a slew of AI-powered software features to Chromebook Plus laptops

Google two weeks ago announced a number of new AI-powered features At the I/O developer conference. Microsoft followed suit last week With the introduction of Copilot+ computers, you’ve guessed it, it has a number of new AI-powered features. Somewhat predictably, Google is announcing its response to the Copilot+ PC initiative with… the humble Chromebook. This is the Chromebook Plus line first announced last October, to be specific. When Google first announced the Chromebook Plus, it focused on a combination of higher-performance hardware and some modest AI software features than what you get on regular Chromebooks.

And now Google is unveiling what it first announced: Chromebook Plus models get a bunch of features that Google first sold last year, as well as some new ones we haven’t heard of before.

Google AI features for Chromebook PlusGoogle AI features for Chromebook Plus


Google Help me write for starters it was soft launched earlier this year now available on all Chromebook Plus laptops. It should work in any text input field you find on a website, whether it’s a Google product like Gmail or a site like Facebook. You can use it to stay informed or analyze what you’ve already written to make it more formal or funnier (although Google admits the jury’s out on whether AI is actually funny). It is basically a generative text tool that you can use on the web. It’s no surprise that it’s showing up on Chromebooks, since Google said you could turn it on in Chrome for Windows and Mac back in February. But Google says this is done at the OS level on Chromebooks so you can use it outside of a browser.

The next feature is another one that Google announced last fall, and it’s just for fun. The built-in image generator will allow you to create wallpaper and video call backgrounds by typing the alert. It’s no different than what you do with other image generators, although I can’t say yet how fast it works or how well it sticks to what you want. Google includes a few prompts for you to try or customize to get started.

Chromebook Plus AI-generated wallpapersChromebook Plus AI-generated wallpapers


Here is the latest update Magic Editor in Google Photos comes to laptops as a feature only for Chromebook Plus devices. First available on Google’s Pixel devices, Magic Editor was part of the Google One subscription plan for a while, but is now more widely available as long as your phone meets the minimum specs. As for laptops, Chromebook Plus models are the only models that can use Magic Editor. The reason seems pretty simple: Chromebooks can run Android apps, including Google Photos.

Magical Google Photos EditorMagical Google Photos Editor


Still, if you want to fiddle with the Magic Editor on a bigger screen than your phone, doing so on a Chromebook seems like a good option. Refreshingly, Magic Editor basically lets you manipulate your images in various ways to change the reality of what you’re shooting, but it’s faster and easier than using something like Photoshop. You can choose to move people or objects, change the app’s cloudy sky to blue, resize or remove other objects, and generally make it harder to believe that the photos you create or share are genuine.

Not surprisingly, Google is baking its Gemini chatbot right into Chromebooks, with the app pre-installed and sitting on the launcher. More importantly, Google is giving Chromebook Plus buyers a full year of the Google One AI Premium plan, which embeds Gemini features directly into Gmail, Docs and other Workplace apps. It also includes access to Gemini Advanced, which adds support for uploading documents for analysis and accessing Gemini Pro 1.5 and its 1 million token context window (which Google says will soon grow to 2 million tokens).

Considering the Google One AI plan costs $20 a month, double the standard price for a 2TB storage plan, it’s a pretty good deal for Chromebook Plus buyers, even if they don’t care about using Gemini. Even if you’re already subscribed to another Google One plan, you’ll still be able to get a year of Google One’s AI option.

There’s also a bunch of new software coming to all Chromebooks. Probably the most notable is the Game Dashboard, a sort of control center for game-related activities. While most Chromebooks still can’t run many games, there are now more choices between cloud gaming services like GeForce Now and Android titles. In fact, Google said that 25 percent of Chromebook owners use them for games, and that they’ve seen a 40 percent increase in the number of people playing games on Chromebooks every year.

ChromeOS Game DashboardChromeOS Game Dashboard


Game Dashboard has a handful of features, but the most notable is a comprehensive key mapping system. This allows you to take games designed for a controller or touchscreen and map their buttons to different buttons on your laptop. For Android games with specific scroll patterns, you can say that pressing a button is the same as a certain scroll in a certain direction.

It also provides one-click recording — it’ll start recording both your gameplay and, if you want to be on video, the footage you’re playing on the laptop’s webcam. You can also quickly upload to various services like YouTube or Discord from the Game Dashboard. This feature is exclusive to the Chromebook Plus, at least for now.

ChromeOS calendar and task integrationChromeOS calendar and task integration


Other new features include the integration of Google Tasks into the menu bar — it already has a calendar widget that shows your upcoming appointments, and now it’ll also show you items in your Tasks list, giving you a one-by-one look at what’s coming up. on your day. Screen recorder can now create GIFs, which is something we all want to do at any time. Now you can install Android phone through Chromebook. If you scan the QR code on your Chromebook with your built-in phone, your Google account and Wi-Fi information will all be synced.

It doesn’t end there. Google also As of last fall, it announced a number of eagerly awaited software features. I appreciate the little sneak peek of what’s to come, and I’m sure we’ll see more of it sooner rather than later if Google really delivers on what it showed in October.

Chief among them is Google’s “help with reading” feature that works with Gemini. As the name suggests, it will provide a summary of web pages, documents or PDFs and you will be able to ask additional questions. Of course, your results may vary depending on how useful all of this is. Google is also working on an AI-powered overview screen that will pop up when you open your laptop — instead of throwing you into the dozens of tabs you have, it’ll try to show you and organize the apps and pages you have open. So you can decide where you want to go from there. It’ll also take into account what you’ve done in Chrome on other devices, so if you’re reading on your phone, you can log back in on your laptop.

Google AI helps to read featureGoogle AI helps to read feature


Likewise, there’s a new focus tool that integrates Google Tasks and YouTube Music with a countdown timer. You can basically choose an urgent task, a playlist, and a timer, and you’ll go into Do Not Disturb mode while you’re away from what you need to do. Not exactly a game changer, but it’s kind of clever.

ChromeOS calendar and task integrationChromeOS calendar and task integration


Perhaps most interesting is the new accessibility feature silent “Project Gameface” tool it showed up at I/O in 2023 and 2024. Google says it’s building Gameface directly into ChromeOS, which will use face and gesture tracking to help people do things on their computers without a keyboard or mouse. It’s “early” in the project’s timeline, so I don’t think we’ll see it in six months, but it’s an important feature that could make Chromebooks more useful to more people.

Google silent controlGoogle silent control


Of course, Google and its hardware partners are launching a range of new Chromebook Plus devices to match all of this – you can read about the new equipment here. As for the software, everything should be up and running today, except for everything Google promises for a later date.

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