The Latest AI Features on Chromebook Plus

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Patrick_Yu
edited June 21 in AI

Google's recent updates to the Chromebook Plus series, announced on May 28, 2024, introduce a slew of new AI features aimed at making everyday tasks easier and more efficient. These updates encompass both hardware and software improvements, with a strong focus on integrating AI functionalities. Key highlights include the "Help Me Write" feature for AI-assisted text editing, AI-powered wallpapers and video backgrounds, and the Magic Editor for Google Photos, which allows users to easily edit images. Additionally, the Gemini assistant is now integrated into the Chromebook Plus, offering advanced AI capabilities for various tasks. New users will receive a year of the Google One AI Premium plan for free, which includes enhanced AI tools and 2 TB of storage. Other features include GIF recording and a game dashboard for button mapping.  

Google also announced several upcoming business and productivity-focused features set to be released later this year, such as "Help Me Read" for text summarization, an improved login experience that displays previously open windows, and Device Hub for IT management.

Whether you're a student looking for writing assistance or someone who wants smarter, more personalized device interactions, the new AI features on Chromebook Plus are designed to provide useful, real-world solutions. Let's dive into what these updates mean for you and how they can improve your Chromebook experience.

New AI-powered features for Chromebook Plus

Google has introduced a range of new Chromebook AI-powered features for Chromebook Plus, designed to enhance productivity, creativity, and personalization. These innovative tools leverage the latest advancements in artificial intelligence to provide users with powerful capabilities that simplify everyday tasks and elevate their digital experience. From AI-assisted writing and customizable wallpapers to advanced photo editing and a versatile AI chatbot, these features ensure that Chromebook Plus users can work smarter and more efficiently. Here’s a closer look at these exciting new functionalities:

1. Help me write 

The "Help me write" feature on Chromebook Plus leverages the power of Google AI to elevate your writing across various platforms, including websites, PDF forms, and web applications. Whether you're crafting a review, filling out a rental application, or drafting a blog post, this tool offers AI-powered suggestions to refine and enhance your text. By simply right-clicking on a text field, you can access options to adjust the tone to suit different audiences, making your writing more formal, conversational, or even more concise. Additionally, the AI can generate new text from scratch based on a given prompt or completely rephrase your existing text to improve clarity and impact. This feature ensures that your writing is polished and professional, regardless of the context. 

2. Generative AI wallpapers and video call backgrounds 

Chromebook Plus introduces an innovative way to personalize your device and enhance your virtual presence with generative AI wallpapers and video call backgrounds. This feature allows you to create custom visuals using AI-generated prompts, providing a variety of themes ranging from whimsical and fun to zen and professional. Whether you're setting up a new wallpaper or preparing for a video call, you can select the style that best fits your mood or meeting context, and Google AI will generate the desired visual effects. This integration of AI not only adds a unique touch to your device but also ensures that you always present yourself in the best possible light during virtual interactions. 

3. Magic Editor on Google Photos 

Exclusively available on Chromebook Plus, the Magic Editor on Google Photos revolutionizes photo editing with advanced, yet user-friendly tools. This feature allows users to make sophisticated edits with ease, enabling them to reposition objects within a photo by simply tapping or circling them, holding and dragging to move, or pinching to resize. Additionally, the Magic Editor provides contextual suggestions to enhance lighting and backgrounds, helping to reimagine your photos with just a few clicks. 

4. Gemini 

Built directly into the home screen of Chromebook Plus, Gemini is a versatile AI chatbot that serves as your personal assistant for a wide range of tasks. From brainstorming new ideas and planning trips to writing content and learning new information, Gemini is designed to support and enhance your productivity. With the integration of Google One AI Premium, new Chromebook Plus users enjoy 12 months of access to Gemini Advanced, which includes 2TB of cloud storage and enhanced AI capabilities in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and more. This seamless integration ensures that you have the most powerful AI tools at your fingertips, helping you to stay organized, creative, and efficient in all your endeavors. 

New features available for all Chromebooks

Google isn't just giving love to the Chromebook Plus; it's continually bringing new features to all Chromebooks as well. While the advanced Chromebook Plus models offer exclusive enhancements, many powerful updates are also available across the entire Chromebook lineup. These new features include seamless setup with Android phones, one-click access to Google Tasks, GIF screen recording, and enhanced gaming tools. Here’s a closer look at the new functionalities that will benefit all Chromebook users: 

1. Simple setup with Android phone 

Users can set up their Chromebook by scanning a QR code to share Wi-Fi credentials and Google account details from their Android phone. This feature simplifies the setup process, eliminating the need to manually enter long passwords and account details. By leveraging the connectivity between your Android phone and Chromebook, this setup method ensures a smooth and efficient start, allowing you to get up and running quickly with minimal hassle. 

2. One-click access to Google Tasks 

Integrated directly into the home screen, the new one-click access to Google Tasks provides a seamless way to manage your to-dos across Google Workspace apps and devices. With this feature, you can easily add or check off tasks by simply tapping on the date in the bottom right corner of your home screen. This integration ensures that your task list is always up-to-date and accessible, whether you are using Gmail on your phone or working from your Chromebook, helping you stay organized and productive throughout the day. 

3. Seamless GIF screen recording 

The built-in screen capture tool on Chromebooks now includes the ability to save screen recordings in GIF format. This feature is perfect for creating quick, animated demonstrations, tutorials, or reaction GIFs. Whether you are making a presentation or sharing a fun moment, the seamless GIF screen recording functionality makes it easy to capture and share dynamic content with minimal effort. 

4. New gaming features 

The new gaming features available on all Chromebooks include the Game Dashboard, which enhances the gaming experience with several useful tools. The Game Dashboard allows users to remap touchscreen controls to keyboard keys, providing more precise and comfortable gameplay. It also simplifies the process of capturing and sharing screenshots and gameplay videos, making it easy to document and share your gaming achievements. These enhancements make Chromebooks a more versatile and enjoyable platform for gaming, accommodating both casual and serious gamers alike. 

Upcoming features for Chromebook and Chromebook Plus

Google is set to release a range of new AI-powered features for Chromebook and Chromebook Plus, enhancing productivity, accessibility, and user experience. These updates include advanced reading capabilities, streamlined login processes, distraction-minimizing tools, and AI-powered hands-free control. Additionally, improved video call controls and a centralized Device Hub for IT management will benefit both individual users and businesses. Here’s a closer look at what Google has in store for their Chromebooks. 

1. Help me read 

The "Help me read" feature will bring enhanced reading capabilities to Chromebooks by allowing users to summarize websites or PDFs with a simple right-click. This feature provides concise summaries of lengthy content, making it easier to quickly grasp the main points. Additionally, users can ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of the material, making it a valuable tool for research and learning. 

2. Improved login experience 

To help users resume their work more efficiently, the improved login experience will display a summary of previously open windows upon logging back in. This feature prevents the frustration of losing your place and ensures that you can pick up right where you left off, enhancing productivity and streamlining the workflow. 

3. Focus 

The Focus feature is designed to minimize distractions and help users concentrate on their tasks. By setting dedicated time blocks based on your to-do list and calendar, Focus helps you stay on track. It also integrates with YouTube Music to provide a tailored focus experience, creating an environment conducive to concentration and productivity. 

4. AI-powered hands-free control 

AI-powered hands-free control will introduce gesture and face tracking capabilities for navigating the OS and apps without the need for a keyboard or touchpad. Users will be able to compose and send emails, browse the web, and even play games using head movements and facial expressions. This innovative feature enhances accessibility and offers a new level of convenience for interacting with your device. 

5. Enhanced video call controls 

Enhanced video call controls will allow users to customize sound and picture settings directly from the Chromebook shelf during video calls. This feature ensures that you always present yourself in the best possible way, with the ability to adjust settings on-the-fly for optimal audio and video quality. 

6. Device Hub for IT management 

The Device Hub will centralize fleet information for IT admins, simplifying device management. It provides notifications and recommendations based on potential issues, making fleet management more seamless and efficient. This feature is designed to help IT teams monitor and maintain their Chromebook deployments effectively, ensuring smooth operation across the organization. 

Conclusion

Google's continuous innovation with the Chromebook Plus series highlights its commitment to enhancing user experience through cutting-edge AI features. The latest updates not only improve productivity and creativity but also make daily tasks more efficient and enjoyable. From AI-assisted writing and advanced photo editing to seamless setup processes and enhanced gaming experiences, these new functionalities cater to a wide range of user needs. 

Acer's newest Chromebook Plus models, the Acer Chromebook Plus Spin 714 and Acer Chromebook Plus 516 GE, embody this spirit of innovation. The Spin 714 offers unparalleled performance and portability with its Intel® Core™ Ultra processors and versatile 2-in-1 design, making it perfect for on-the-go productivity and creativity. Meanwhile, the Chromebook Plus 516 GE is a game-changer for cloud gaming enthusiasts, featuring a high-refresh-rate display, RGB keyboard, and NVIDIA GeForce NOW integration for an immersive gaming experience. 

With these new models, Acer continues to push the boundaries of what Chromebooks can offer, ensuring users have access to the latest AI innovations and top-notch performance. Whether for work, school, or play, the Acer Chromebook Plus devices provide robust solutions to meet diverse needs. Explore these new features and see how they can enhance your Chromebook experience.

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Patrick Yu is a Senior Project Manager at Level Interactive and has 8 years of experience writing business, legal, lifestyle, gaming, and technology articles. He is a significant contributor to Acer Corner and is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.

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