Google is releasing a new update to ChromeOS that will have significant new features, including a new interface, useful elements for charging controls, and adjusting the availability of accent colors.

ChromeOS 117 leverages Google’s “Material You” design philosophy, a radical new look introduced in Android 12 in 2021. This change is most noticeable in the recently redesigned Quick Settings window, which now has lighter rectangular buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings compared to the previous small circular icons.

Updated Chrome OS devices will also get a new notification bar in the bottom right corner of the screen, giving you easier access to new messages, emails, and other notifications from apps. The calendar also gets a revamped view with the ability to easily switch to video calls. In addition, there are new privacy indicators that show when the camera and microphone are in use.

The new software also allows you to find Chromebook specifications with a simple search in the launcher. In the past, there were confusing steps to find RAM, and finding other information required the help of third-party apps.

To improve battery life, ChromeOS now has adaptive charging, which can keep the charge at 80 percent and use machine learning to predict when the user will unplug it so it can charge to 100 percent by that time. (You can access this feature by going to Settings > Power Device > Adaptive > Charging.)

Google is also adding new accent colors so that users with color vision impairments can better navigate the interface. This feature can be found in the ChromeOS accessibility settings under Display & Zoom.

As a reminder, Google will stop working on Gmail HTML viewing in January 2024. Anyone who has used it so far will switch to a much more modern “standard” look of the service.

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