Google has started rolling out ChromeOS 117 to Galaxy Chromebooks and other ChromeOS devices globally (via 9To5Google). This is a big software update as it brings Google’s Material You design language to the OS. The new design language changes the look of many UI elements, including Quick Settings, the date tab that shows the calendar, and the notification panel. The company has added Dynamic Colour theming, as well as updated the Chrome web browser with the Material You design.
Redesigned Quick Settings panel
Starting with the Quick Settings, each control is now placed in a rounded rectangle rather than a circle. This design approach uses the space in a much better way and makes this panel look clearer, more organised, and more modern than before. The sliders for controlling sound and brightness are now thicker. The new design not only gives these elements a modern appeal but also makes these sliders easier.
New features for events and privacy
Besides Quick Settings, you have the date. Once you click on it, you’ll be presented with the calendar and events. This panel now gives you a ‘Join’ button to directly attend a video call. Plus, you’ll now be able to see multi-day events. Next to this tab, there is the notification panel, which now comes with entirely new feed sections. This area will also notify you if your camera or microphone is in use with a green dot. Google will soon make it possible to switch on/off access to those from this panel.
Dynamic Colour theming
Along with these changes, the company has also added Dynamic Colour theming to the OS, which changes the system theme based on the wallpaper. This feature also gives you four accent colours to choose from. You can turn off controls for accent colours for “more basic neutral colours”. The accent colours as well as neutral colours adapt to the light and dark theme. You can access controls for accent colours and light/dark mode by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing Wallpaper & Style.
Adaptive Charging to preserve battery health
Another interesting feature that you get with ChromeOS 117 is Adaptive Charging. Google says “Devices with Adaptive Charging enabled via Settings charge to 80% and then complete charging to 100% based on an ML model’s prediction for when the user will unplug their device. Reducing the time a device spends at 100% charge helps preserve the battery’s health and ability to hold a charge over the lifetime of the device”. You can find this feature in Settings » Device » Power.
Additional accessibility features
ChromeOS 117 also brings more accessibility features, and one of them is built-in colour settings. Google says that you can “Go to ChromeOS Accessibility settings under Display and Magnification enable colour filters for protanopia, deuteranopia or tritanopia, or to view the display in greyscale. Users are given a slider to customize the filters’ intensity to meet their needs” The new update brings many other changes. You can check them out on the Chrome Releases page.