For all the odd souls out there who love taking photos with their tablets, Google’s latest Chrome OS update is a big one. In addition to adding centralized music controls and support for virtual desktops, Chrome OS 76 adds a new portrait mode to the platform’s camera app, the company revealed on Thursday.
At launch, portrait mode is available exclusively on the company’s Pixel Slate, though Google says it plans to bring the feature to other Chromebooks in the future. Setting aside the usual reactions people have to tablet photography, the fact Google plans to add a portrait mode to other Chromebooks is something of a head-scratcher. Unlike the Pixel Slate, most Chromebooks feature low-resolution cameras. As such, they won’t be able to take meaningful advantage of the feature. And then there’s the fact that Google doesn’t plan to make tablets anymore. In other words, it doesn’t seem like there’s much of any audience for a portrait mode on Chrome OS.
Returning to the update, the company has also tweaked the camera app’s interface to change how users switch between the different camera modes on their Chrome OS device. This latter enhancement is available on all Chrome OS devices, not just the Pixel Slate. The update also adds a new “Clear all” button to the notification shade to make it easier to manage Play Store prompts.
More so than any of the individual enhancements detailed above, what’s notable about Google’s August Chrome OS update is that the company devoted an entire blog post to it on its official Keyword blog. Even more significant is that at the end of the post Google promises to share information about its next Chrome OS update. It’s all part of a new, more transparent approach on the company’s behalf to talk about the development of Chrome OS that includes a new release notes feature. Google is rolling out Chrome OS 76 gradually, so hang tight if the update isn’t showing up on your Chromebook immediately.