Chrome OS is getting some nifty new features

The Phone Hub ensures Chromebooks and other Android devices stay in sync. — dpa

For the 10th birthday of Chrome OS, Google is giving the Windows and MacOS alternative some handy productivity features, while also making the operating system feel a bit more like Android.

Users can expect to see them in a Chromebook update over the coming days. Here's what to expect:

Phone Hub: With the new Phone Hub, Chromebooks and Android smartphones work more closely together. This means that incoming messages are now instantly mirrored from your paired smartphone, and you can also answer them from there.

The last two web pages you've accessed on your phone can also be transferred to the bigger screen with one tap. And for when you're working on the road, you can now activate your smartphone hotspot directly from your Chromebook.

If you often lose your phone, you can now locate your device using the Phone Hub. Google will tell your phone to make a sound so you can track it down quicker.

WiFi Sync: Google is improving how its devices connect to the Internet. Just as with Apple's iOS, Chromebooks will soon be able to access all WiFi networks that have already been used by another smartphone, tablet or Chromebook with the same Google account.

This means you no longer need to type in long WiFi passwords on every single device.

Sharing files: With the Nearby Share function already available on newer Android smartphones, Chromebooks can now also receive files wirelessly from nearby devices.

This means you no longer need to email a photo to yourself just to see it on your laptop. iOS users will roll their eyes, as they have long benefited from this in the form of AirDrop.

Tools for everyday productivity: The new Chrome OS clipboard now stores five elements that can be pasted individually or together. With the so-called Tote file folder, you'll see all your downloads, screenshots and new files. Users can also pin files for a project here so they're easier to find.

With the Quick Answers function, information like definitions and translations can be accessed directly via Google search.

For presentations or videos, Chrome OS has a new tool for screen recording, meaning you can create screenshots and longer video sequences of all or part of your screen. Recordings land directly in your quick access area and can be edited from there. – dpa

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