It’s a brand new month and a new ChromeOS release awaits. Yesterday, Google has officially announced the release of ChromeOS version 104, which should now be generally available for eligible devices. The changes available with this release were largely covered in a post last week based on an announcement Google made on The Keyword – and we even included them in a video! However, now that the update is here, we wanted to go back and check out the features that did make it.
Light and Dark Mode (FINALLY!)
We’ve covered the “Personalization Hub” on this site extensively since it first appeared on Canary. We also covered the dark mode on Chromebooks and the fact that it’s hidden behind a flag for an eternity. ChromeOS 104 changes that with the light and dark mode finally making their debut in the stable channel without the need for a flag.
The light/dark mode is now part of “Personalization” and can be manually set to one or to “auto” so that it changes at sunset and sunrise. One difference that I noticed between this implementation of the dark mode is that there is no longer an option for the neutral color mode. Instead, it defaults to the theme color mode, which uses colors extracted from your background. However, the option to choose a color mode was available when “dark mode” was just a flag, as seen in the screenshot below.
Google Photos and Theme Wallpapers
The Personalization section also includes: a wallpaper picker with brand new wallpaper options. One of them is the option to choose from your google photos galleryso you can now use your favorite family photo as wallpaper without having to download it first.
Additionally, some of the other wallpaper galleries, such as Radiance and Element include: wallpapers that are given a light or dark theme to match what you have chosen on your device. My favorite so far is the Radiance collection, as seen below.
Rounding out the personalization features is the ability to: set a screensaver as a slideshow from one of your Google Photos albums, similar to how it currently works on the Nest Hub. In addition, you can: choose that same album in one of the new photo frames “Feel the breeze” or “Float on by”that displays your family photos in a fun animation.
Other Notable Additions
Google is also cleaning up the Calendar integration by shows a pop-up calendar when you tap the date on the Chromebook shelf. This pop-up calendar is a live calendar. The dots on the dates you’ve added events show you more information about that event when you tap it.
And last but not least, the Gallery app, now ChromeOS’ default media app, can now open PDFs. When you open a PDF, you can also switch to annotate mode, fill out forms, highlight text, and even sign documents.
I’m really excited about these new ChromeOS 104 features, especially since everyone can now use dark mode. I’m also a fan of the new wallpapers and Google Photos integration distributed by the Personalization Hub. I’m also excited about the next release, which will bring improvements to Virtual Desks.
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