Google just announced an update to Chrome OS that finally gives the browser-based operating system file management to match the original product vision: a thin layer on hardware that puts intelligence and storage in the cloud. Now, users will have the option to save a file directly to Google Drive, instead of being forced to save it locally and then upload it.
This update matches Apple’s Mountain Lion, which makes iCloud the default storage space for certain files, but in sharp contrast Google does not mandate or default file location. Google Drive has simply been added as an option.
(As a Mountain Lion user who has to change the default fairly often, I applaud.)
In addition, Chrome’s app launcher went on a diet. Instead of covering the entire screen, the apps list now modestly clings to its corner of the desktop. A search omnibox at the top allows users to quickly sort and find apps.
And yes, as you can see above, Chrome now allows custom wallpaper, so you too can have your kids or pets stare at you all day long or dream of past and future vacations. Additional new features include audio support for USB and HDMI, an updated Cloud Print dialog, and numerous bug fixes.
I’ve been wondering about picking up a Chromebook for my daughter, who’s going back to school in a couple of weeks. Maybe Google just made that decision a little easier.