Chromebook close up on Chrome logo
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Google is making some changes to its Chromebook PCs, many of which focus on getting together with others in the virtual space. Love it or hate it, Google is now preinstalling its video meetings app, Google Meet, on Chromebooks.

What’s New With Chromebooks?

The first significant change announced by Google on its blog is Meet coming preinstalled on Chromebooks. This makes a lot of sense for the company, as it wants people to use its virtual meeting platform.

However, Google is aware that there are other meeting apps out there. The company partnered with Zoom to launch an improved version of the app for Chromebooks, so while Google is clearly pushing Meet, it’s still making things more pleasant for Zoom users. Google says the new version of Zoom for Chromebooks adds the latest features like breakout rooms, transcriptions, and so on. It also takes up less precious storage space and performs better.

Chromebook Emoji picker
Google

Google is also improving emoji with the latest Chromebook update. Now, the company is adding a new keyboard shortcut and an emoji picker to the OS that’ll make using emoji quicker and easier. Use the keyboard shortcut Search or Launcher key + Shift + Space to bring up the new picker. From there, you can choose the perfect emoji for the situation. Previously, you had to get a little creative to type an emoji on a Chromebook, so this is a pleasant change.

Another noteworthy feature is eSim support, as Google has given Chrome OS support for the technology. This won’t apply to all Chromebook owners, though, as the device will need to be eSim compatible. Devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 and Acer Chromebook 511 support the tech, as do some other models.

RELATED: Chromebooks in 2021: Can One Be Your Full-Time Computer?

Chromebooks For Kids

Google has made some improvements to the Explore app that’ll help make using a Chromebook a more enjoyable experience for kids. They now include a digital magazine curated for kids and families. Each issue will include educational apps designed to help kids learn about creating and playing on their Chromebooks.

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Unfortunately, the digital magazine is currently only available for Family Link users in the United States, limiting the audience. However, Google did say “currently,” which leaves the door open to expand the digital magazine to other regions.

Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair is the News Editor for How-To Geek. He started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digitial Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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