Wired Tethering, Media Controls Coming To Chrome OS

ChromeOS is getting even smarter thanks to useful upcoming features. 

Tired of killing your iOS device prematurely because you wanted to provide a mobile hotspot for your laptop? ChromeOS has a fix. The operating system will soon be able to tether to an iPhone through USB connection, lowering the battery drain of a wireless mobile hotspot. That means, that iOS fans who own Chromebooks can get connectivity without too much hassle thanks to the plug-and-play mechanic. Joining wired tethering support for iOS devices is a play button for the Chrome browser, allowing you to manage media playing in another tab with a pop out.

In addition to easier connectivity, wired tethering lowers battery drain by allowing phones to share a mobile data connection via wire. The feature is nothing new for Android users who’ve had the ability to use wired tethering for quite some time. Along with less power consumption, USB tethering should be more reliable than Wi-Fi thanks to the strength of a direct connection with less interference.

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

Dubbed Global Media Controls, Google will soon bring a play button to the Chrome browser. Appearing at the top of your screen, the player will highlight active media regardless of if it’s on the current tab or not. Once you’re listening to a song or video, the feature will allow you to skip forward or back, pause, or play the file. 

If you have Canary, Chrome’s development browser, you can check out the feature now. Head to the experiments page, chrome://flags/, and search for “Global Media Controls.” Enable the controls then relaunch the browser. Voila! Enjoy the tiny play button next to the URL field. 

Credit: Google 

Hunter Fenollol is Laptop’s editorial intern, where he covers the latest industry news and products. With a public relations degree from Long Island University, Hunter worked as a publicity specialist for independent game companies prior to joining the team. When he’s not working, you can find Hunter blowing his paycheck on slot machines, babysitting his two little sisters or playing the latest video games.