Google has ramped up Chrome’s release schedule, with new Chrome versions coming out every four weeks. Chrome 91 stabilizes Linux on Chromebooks, improves Tab Search, powers up Copy & Paste, and improves Chrome OS in other ways.
Linux on Chromebooks Finally Leaves Beta
Linux apps have been available on select Chromebooks for about three years, but it’s always been in a “beta.” Chrome OS 91 finally marks Linux on Chromebooks as a stable piece of software.
Not much will be changing with Linux on Chromebooks right away. Google continues to work on Linux by adding new APIs and better integration with the device hardware. Taking it out of beta is a big indicator that Google thinks the feature has come far enough to be ready for everyone.
Tab Search on Chrome OS Shows Recently Closed Tabs
Chrome OS 87 gained the ability to search through open tabs. In Chrome OS 91, the feature (which has since come to Chrome on the desktop as well) now shows a list of recently closed tabs as well.
The feature is very simple. You just click the Tab Search icon and you’ll see a list of recently closed tabs under the list of currently open tabs. It’s a handy way to access these pages without going into History.
Copy & Paste for Files
Chrome obviously has copy and paste functionality, but Chrome 91 takes it to another level. You can now copy a file from anywhere on your computer and then paste it into an email.
Previously, if you wanted to attach a file to an email, you’d have to drag it from the file explorer and drop it in the email tab. You can now simply Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste it.
Currently, the feature is available behind a flag. You can enable it at
Android Gets Modern Form Controls
Chrome 91 on Android is getting some redesigned form controls. These are things like radio buttons, checkboxes, date selectors, and progress bars. The old form controls hadn’t been updated in a while and were starting to look outdated. You can see before (left) and after (right) images below (via XDA-Developers).
Chrome for Android Can “Follow” Websites
Google may have killed Google Reader a long time ago, but Chrome 91 for Android is bringing another RSS reader-style feature. A new option in the menu will allow you to “Follow” a website. Whenever that site published new content, it will show up in the new “Following” section on the New Tab page.
This feature is still in the early stages and you probably won’t see it in Chrome 91 right away, but it’s something to look forward to—especially if you miss RSS.
What Else Is New?
Chrome 91 is particularly light on user-facing changes, but there’s always more going on behind the scenes. You can read about many of these changes on Google’s developer site and the Chromium blog. We’ll highlight a few changes here:
- New Origin Trials in this release: Declarative Link Capturing for PWAs, WebTransport, and WebXR Plane Detection API.
- Suggested File Name and Location: Web apps can now suggest the name and location of a file or directory when using the File System Access API.
- Credential Sharing: Domains that share the same account management backend can now be associated together, meaning the Chrome password manager only needs to remember one login for all the domains.
Chrome will automatically install the update on your device when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the menu > Help > About Google Chrome.
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