Chrome OS 80 Stable Channel arrives: Here’s what you need to know

Initially expected around February 11, Chrome OS 80 has landed on the Stable Channel for Chromebooks today. As of time of writing not all Chrome OS devices are seeing the update, so per usual, you’ll want to be patient. You can check which devices are receiving the update on this matix.

My Acer Chromebook Spin 13 (aka: Nami) is on the list and received the Chrome OS 80 update a short while ago.

The “See what’s new” tab in Chrome OS really doesn’t have any current information from this release, or at least it doesn’t yet, so here’s what you can expect in Chrome OS 80 after your Chromebook receives the software update.

New Linux containers use Debian Buster instead of Stretch

We knew this was coming and to be honest, it’s more of a transition than anything else. There’s more work to be done because Chrome OS 80 will not automatically update your Linux containers from Debian Buster to Stretch. Instead, any brand new containers will be set up with Stretch on Chrome OS 80. The upgrade process is still in the works.

Chrome OS tab strip interface added for tablet mode

Original Chrome OS tab strip in development

As previously noted, a new Chrome OS tab strip user interface has been in the works for tablet mode on supported devices. This feature wasn’t enabled by default on my Chromebook Spin after the upgrade but you can enable it with the following links:

After you enable the feature and restart your browser, you’ll see that the user interface has been spruced up a little bit from the in-development version above.

Here you can see the “+” button and the number of open tabs on the right side of the browser. And my pinned tabs show as small buttons on the left side of the tab strip

Chrome OS 80 tab user interface

Other odds and ends in Chrome OS 80

An autorotation bug that’s been around for a while has been squashed in this update:

Autorotation will stay enabled when you connect a mouse to a device in tablet mode. You can pair a mouse with a tablet in portrait mode or a convertible device in tent mode without having to manually rotate your screen.

While you can sideload Android apps on a Chromebook with Chrome OS 80, it’s a fairly manual process. And it’s really intended for developers to test the Android code they’ve written using on a Chromebook. The manual process still exists, however, and Google is working on automating the ADB connection between Android Studio for Chrome OS and the Android container, per some bug reports I’ve been tracking.

And according to a post earlier today from Google, you can now use the Netflix app from Google Play and watch content via a PiP, or picture-in-picture mode. I suspect this doesn’t require Chrome OS 80, so there’s a bonus for those waiting to get the platform upgrade.

While you all wait for your Chromebooks to be updated, I’ll keep nosing around the Chrome OS 80 software and see what else I can find.

10 thoughts on “Chrome OS 80 Stable Channel arrives: Here’s what you need to know

  • March 2, 2020 at 2:51 pm
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    Could you check the status of unsupported usb devices in crostini? Do you still need to activate lags?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2020 at 2:56 pm
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      Yes, there’s still a required flag for unsupported USB device access to Crostini. However, I do know that the Chrome OS team has been adding device IDs for whitelisting for broader support.

      Reply
    • March 4, 2020 at 2:00 am
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      Very strange!

      I have version 81 stable on my acer flip Cromebook, I am not using beta channel.

      Reply
  • March 2, 2020 at 9:48 pm
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    Just updated to 80 on my Asus Chromebox. Now the Netflix app and web won’t work. As soon as they load, Chrome OS freaks out. Anyone else experiencing this?

    Reply
    • March 6, 2020 at 5:25 pm
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      Yes, same… but I use a screen dimmer (android app) and noticed when its activated everything goes kaput…..

      Reply
  • March 3, 2020 at 6:19 am
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    Is it just me, or it looks like they pulled the update?

    Reply
    • March 3, 2020 at 6:59 am
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      Interesting; I just hit the update matrix (the first link in the post) and I see what you see: Back to 79 on Stable for all devices, other than those that already received the update to Chrome OS 80. Researching….

      Reply
  • March 3, 2020 at 10:10 am
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    I was on Beta 80 from the beginning. It worked great at first, then an update started causing crashes. I was hoping it would be fixed, but the last update I saw for it did nothing. I was actually wondering if it was just me, but probably not. It was working great up until either the first or second update they did for it, then going to certain web pages or opening certain apps and it would crash, then come back with Chrome back open and that error they throw up for you something going wrong.

    Eventually I just decided not to turn it on until Beta 81 or an update specifically listing the problem.

    Reply
    • March 6, 2020 at 3:28 pm
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      Mmy computer is done and my. Tablet fire newest bored me i am going tomorrow or now if i can order online for Chromebook do they have one thats for eduation research and business space

      Reply
  • March 13, 2020 at 6:36 pm
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    Hey, I was just wondering. Is there anybody else who’s 5G internet connection won’t connect to their chromebook? Ever since the new update my chromebook as been doing weird things.

    Reply

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