Chrome OS updated with shelf placement control, better icons and more

Screenshot 2013-11-22 at 12.38.49 PM

Chrome OS has been updated with a slew of design improvements that will make your Chromebook experience even better. Google’s operating system lacks some customization and support, but updates like this one have been improving everything and there is no longer a need to be missing much of what other operating systems offer.

I have to say I am loving update version 31.0.1650.61. So without further ado, let’s check out the new improvements you can now enjoy with your Chromebooks!

Apps icon now locked to the corner

The App Launcher is now locked to the corner of the screen, as you can see in the image above. This makes it easier to find, not to mention – better-looking and more user-friendly. I just never understood why the App Launcher was located to the right before.

It makes no sense to me, so I am really liking the new placement. It is also more like Windows’s Start button. Most people use Windows and that OS has the Start button in the same place as the latest Chrome OS App Launcher. Many of you will feel right at home!

You can now change where your shelf is placed

Screenshot 2013-11-22 at 12.39.19 PM

The shelf is pretty much the bar, taskbar, launcher or whatever you may prefer calling it. It is the bar (usually at the bottom of the screen) where you can find the menus, apps and more in a computer. In Chrome OS, the shelf has been locked to the bottom of the screen, but now you get a bit of customizability when it comes to its placement.

By double-tapping (or right-clicking) anywhere in your homescreen, you can now select between three options. You can place the shelf at the bottom, left or right of the display. I am liking the way it looks on the right side, so I will be keeping it that way, but the choice is now yours!

Screenshot 2013-11-22 at 12.39.00 PM

Help Center’s look has been improved

This one is not as important, but if you are trying to learn how to use your brand new Chromebook you will enjoy a better-looking Help Center. Here is a sample:

Screenshot 2013-11-22 at 12.40.42 PM

Your profile picture now syncs

If you like to keep things uniform, it will be nice to know your profile picture now syncs if you use a Chrome OS avatar or your Google+ picture. Not major, but pretty neat!

Other improvements

  • The launcher icon, app icons and status tray got an overhaul to improve touchability
  • Enabled initial support for USB-based Braille displays
  • Updated design for Feedback page
  • Translate related settings have been integrated into the languages options

Getting the Chrome OS update

The update process is pretty standard. Your browser will prompt you to restart your computer and you are set, as always. There is a bit of a discrepancy with this update, though. Not all Chroembooks are getting the update right away. You won’t be getting the update (yet) if you own an Acer C7, HP Chromebook 11 or HP Pavilion Chromebook.

The reason is still unknown, but you should be in line to get it soon! Be patient. As for the rest of you, how are you liking the update?