ChromeOS may add 3 cutting-edge features to Chromebook

HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When Google revealed the program lineup for Google I/O 2024, the company said we'd "Get a glimpse into the exciting future of ChromeOS." 

Over the past few months, rumors for ChromeOS haven't been nearly as prevalent as rumors for Android 15 and upcoming Pixel phones. But with how much Google has been pushing generative AI for all of its devices, we're expecting many of those "future of ChromeOS" updates to be AI-powered.

At Google I/O 2024, Google may announce a system-wide AI Help Me Write tool, AI-generated video backgrounds, and wallpapers, features shown to Chrome Unboxed in April.  

We're also hoping Google may talk about things to come for ChromeOS at Google I/O, like Spatial Audio, even if the feature isn't demoed or launched at the event tomorrow. Nonetheless, 2024 will be an exciting year for Chromebook users who want AI-assisted features and room-filling audio.

3. Spatial Audio

Chromebooks may soon get Spatial Audio, a virtual surround sound feature that's already available to Android users. A recent ChromeOS code change revealed the possible Spatial Audio feature and mentioned a ShowSpatialAudioToggle flag being introduced to "hide the toggle to control spatial audio." 

Spatial Audio on the Beats Fit Pro

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

This code change doesn't necessarily guarantee Chromebooks will get Spatial Audio, but it's a strong indicator. It's not clear yet whether the feature will be supported system-wide or only by specific apps, but users may be able to test it soon in a ChromeOS Canary build or by force-enabling it through chrome://flags.

Because features typically appear in ChromeOS Canary or as a developer flag before shipping on Chromebooks, Google won't officially launch the feature at I/O 2024. That said, Google might announce the feature's timeline or discuss how spatial audio will work on upcoming Chromebooks.

2. A system-wide Help Me Write feature

Two ChromeOS features that Google will likely discuss at I/O 2024 include a system-wide Help Me Write feature and AI-powered video backgrounds and wallpapers. Google exclusively demoed these features with Chrome Unboxed and gave the outlet shareable video clips of each feature.

The Help Me Write feature is currently available on Chrome, but the version Google's working on for ChromeOS will be a "larger model" with "more capability and reach" to work on a system-wide level. So you'll be able to use this generative AI feature to help reword emails in your browser, texts from your linked phone, and more.

1. AI Video Backgrounds and Wallpapers

Then, ChromeOS will use generative AI to create custom backgrounds for video calls and unique wallpapers for your desktop.

Using AI Video Backgrounds, you'll have a series of prompts to get started, and then you can change some of the words to find precisely what you're looking for. For example, in the background of "A cozy cottage cafe," you could change up the words "cozy" and "cottage," with AI giving you suggestions for each.

Similarly, the AI Wallpapers feature shows a ton of unique prompts as a jumping-off place. Then, you can customize specific words to change the art style, the main subject of the image, or the wallpaper's overall vibe. This feature is basically a built-in generative AI image model that lets you easily switch up your wallpaper.

In addition to ChromeOS updates, Google plans to talk about Android 15, "beautiful and functional web experiences," and new features for the Gemini API, Google AI Studio, and Gemma. If you want to catch the action in real time, here's how to watch Google I/O 2024.

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