Google makes it easier to find files and downloads on your Chromebook

Google released Chrome OS 93 with improvements to a feature that lets Chromebook owners pin frequently accessed files to an area of ​​the shelf.

New file pinning capability has been added to Tote, a digital bag for storing items collected from a Chromebook, such as screenshots and other files that need to be accessed frequently.

Google released Tote earlier this year with a Chrome OS update and now has some improvements to roll out. Tote is part of the Chromebook Shelf and now displays three preview thumbnails of recently added screenshots or downloads, showing the user what’s in Tote without them opening it. There is also an option to right-click and choose to hide previews.

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Additionally, the Chromebook shelf preview and tote will show a file’s download status later this year.

Google has describes a number of user tips in a blog post about Tote features that have been added over the past year.

Chrome 93 also brings improvements to the Chrome OS app launcher, an indicator showing the pen’s battery level, and improvements for incompatible Android apps originally intended for phones.

As Android Police noted, the app launcher improves the controls users have when using a mouse to move apps around the launcher. A previous update improved the app launcher for touchscreen Chromebooks, but left the mouse experience lacking in control.

Android apps can work on Chromebooks, but since many apps were designed primarily for smartphones or tablets, they often don’t work well on Chrome OS laptops.

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Android Police notes that Chrome OS 93 locks the Android app window size to the screen size the developer intended it for. Some Android apps like Gmail show a menu with preset sizes for Phone, Tablet, and Resizable. The last option contains a warning that the application may experience instability issues.

These Android app issues on Chromebooks are similar to why Microsoft ended support for its native Android Office apps on Chromebooks, as ZDNet’s May Jo Foley reported in August. Starting September 18, Microsoft is advising Chromebook users to sign in to the web versions of Office.com and Outlook.com.

Microsoft explained that the web versions of its Office apps “provide the most optimized experience for Chrome OS/Chromebook customers.”

Sam D. Gomez