5 useful AI features Google just unveiled for Chromebook Plus


Holding up the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

It was only a matter of time before Google injected AI into Chrome OS.

That time has now come.

Also: These top Chromebooks choices for students do it all

Chromebook Plus (a standard for higher-end Chrome OS hardware that includes exclusive features) is getting an update today that levels up the platform such that AI plays a more important role. The goal is to help you get the most out of AI when you’re using Chrome OS for certain tasks.

Let’s break down the most useful AI features coming to Chromebook Plus with this latest update.

1. Magic Editor in Google Photos

By now, you likely know what Magic Editor is and how it can help you create the perfect photo. Up until now, however, this feature was only available on phones. Get ready, because Magic Eraser is now available on Chromebook Plus.

Also: Magic Editor and other AI features in Google Photos are coming to your phone for free

You’ll be able to select a photo in the Google Photos app, tap (or click) Magic Eraser, and start editing the image to your liking. You can reposition and resize objects, use contextual suggestions to improve the lighting and background, and completely reimagine your photos with a few clicks.

2. Gemini on your Chromebook

That’s right, Gemini is now available on your Chromebook. Any time you need help with an idea, need to get an answer to a question, plan a trip, research a subject, and more, all you have to do is tap the Gemini icon on your app shelf and start interacting.

If you’re a new Chromebook Plus user, you’ll get the Google One AI Premium plan at no cost for 12 months. After that, you’ll have to pay for the Gemini subscription. That plan includes access to Gemini Advance, 2TB of cloud storage, Gemini in Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and more.

3. Help Me Write

Help Me Write leverages Google’s AI chops in all the places you write, such as websites, PDF forms, online applications, web apps, and more. When you need help writing, right-click (or two-finger tap) the text area to get suggestions or even get help changing the tone to fit your audience.

Also: Chrome now has a new AI writing tool to help you write almost anything online

Help Me Write helps generate text from scratch, using a prompt, or can help you rewrite existing text to make it more formal, shorten it, or totally rephrase it.

4. AI-generated wallpapers and video call backgrounds

With the help of AI, you’ll be able to dream up just about any kind of image you want or need to serve as your Chromebook wallpaper or video call backgrounds.

You’ll find some pre-built prompts included to help you build your backgrounds of all types (such as fun, whimsical, zen, and professional). Select what you want to see, and Google’s AI will take it from there to generate an image specific to your prompt.

5. Quick access to Google Tasks

If you’re a fan of Google Tasks, you might be happy to hear that you’ll now have one-click access, via a built-in view of Google Tasks that makes it easy to add or check off todos.

Also: ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini: Which is the best AI chatbot?

Google Tasks will be accessible from the date icon on the bottom-right of your home screen, and will also be accessible across Google Workspace apps and devices. That means if you’ve added a task from Gmail on your Android phone, you can pick up where you left off on your Chromebook.

These new features will be available to Chromebook Plus devices on the latest Chrome OS version to be released on (or after – depending on your location) May 28, 2024.

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