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Major Chromebook Update Adds Android Pie and Google Assistant (Report)

A huge new update — Chrome OS 72 — is taking flagship Google features to more Chromebooks. Specifically, that's version 72.0.3626.97 of Chrome OS, which according to one report, brings Google Assistant and Android 9 Pie to select devices. 

Oddly, this news isn't being promoted by Google itself, as the release notes don't pack that tidbit. Instead, we're learning it from AboutChromebooks.com, which notes that Android 9 Pie is a surprise perk of this new update, which also bakes in Google Assistant, which will not be limited to just Google's own Pixelbook and Pixel Slate.

MORE: Should I Buy a Chromebook? Buying Guide and Advice

Instead, it appears that these Chrome 72 perks are rolling out to select devices, and you can learn about how it effects your machine by opening About Device.

Another important feature that arrives with Chrome 72 is external drive support for Android apps. That means you can access files from your accessories in apps emulated via the Google Play store. Even the Pixel Slate, during my testing, was missing this capability.

The release notes also state that "Chrome browser has been optimized for touchscreen devices in tablet mode." We hope this translates to reduced stutter, which Google was reportedly working on.

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.