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Google Rolls Out Chromebook Update Highlighting CES Releases

With new Chromebooks announced at CES 2021, Google has updated Chrome OS with improvements billed as making the netbooks “as seamless as possible”, including faster sign-ins and personalised lock screens.

Left to right: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, ASUS Chromebook Flip C536, and Acer Chromebook Spin 514. (Image: Google)

Acer, Asus and Samsung all showcased new Chromebooks at CES, including the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and the Asus Chromebook Flip CM5, which are among the first to come with AMD Ryzen processors; the the Asus Chromebook Flip C536 and the Asus Chromebook CX9, which are powered by 11th-generation Intel Core chips; and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, the first Chromebook with a QLED display.

To accompany these new Chromebooks, Google has released a Chrome OS update with new features including personalised lock screens. According to Alexander Kuscher, Director of Chrome OS Software at Google, the new lock screens will act like personalised smart displays.

“Show off your favourite photo album from Google Photos or pick from hundreds of art gallery images.

“You can use your lock screen to check information like the current weather and what music is playing; you’ll also be able to pause a track or skip songs without unlocking your device,” he said.

Also unveiled was Web Authentication (WebAuthn), a new streamlined sign-in process for websites, which allows users to log in to websites using the same PIN or fingerprint that unlocks their Chromebook.

“Websites that support WebAuthn will let you use your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID—if your Chromebook has a fingerprint reader—instead of the password you’ve set for the website.

“And if you use 2-Step Verification to sign-in, your Chromebook PIN or fingerprint ID can be used as the second factor, so you no longer need to pull out your security key or phone to authenticate,” said Kuscher.

Google has flagged more Chromebook news for March.

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