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ChromeOS 115 rolling out: Android App Streaming, PDF signatures

Google is rolling out ChromeOS 115 as a bigger-than-usual update with a number of user-facing additions over the coming days.

Amidst I/O 2023, Google announced the beta availability of Android App Streaming from your Pixel (4a+) or Xiaomi (12T, 12T Pro, 13, 13 Pro) phone running Android 13 and newer with Cross-Device Services installed. It’s now entering stable with ChromeOS 115 so that you can stream apps from your mobile device to your Chromebook.

This is framed as letting you “complete quick tasks like replying to a conversation, checking on the status of a rideshare or delivery, and editing your shopping list.”

Android apps, which open in a phone-sized window, can be launched via the Phone Hub where you get a row of Recent apps at the bottom of the panel with the ability to browse all compatible “Apps from your phone.” Applications can also open when you tap through a messaging notification.

When opening PDFs in the Gallery app, ChromeOS 115 adds a signature tool. Appearing next to Draw in the top toolbar, you can add a signature, which is much easier with a touchscreen than a trackpad and save it for future use. You can place it in any document and resize the signature to ensure line fit.

Lastly, Google has updated the keyboard Shortcuts app with “new navigation and taxonomy,” improved search, and a “refreshed shortcut visualization” that better shows what to press.

Meanwhile, this is unmentioned in the stable release notes, but ChromeOS 115 is testing better windowing options in the beta channel. Hovering over the expand/minimize button in the top-right corner control group will show you a new layout menu.

There’s Split (half), Partial, Full and Float. That last option is new and makes it so that the window is always on top, just like Picture-in-Picture (PiP) for video. The other options were previously accessed by dragging a window and moving to the left/right side of the screen until an overlay appears. This approach is much more accessible and hopefully sees a wide launch soon.

Posted on: 7/22/2023 3:40:14 AM


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