Tag Archives: Chromebooks

CES 2022: Better together with Android and beyond

Editors note: Google planned to attend CES 2022 but pulled out due to concerns over COVID-19.

The average U.S. household had 25 connected devices in 2021, up from 11 in 2019. If you’re like me, you want to pick and choose the devices that work best for you regardless of brand. You also want to easily set up and move from one device to the next throughout your day, and without having to pull up the same song or task over and over again.

Android was built for everyone, everywhere and to give people more choice in devices, whether it’s based on the design, features or overall value. Over the years, we’ve evolved Android to support more devices in your life such as watches, tablets, TVs and even cars. And beyond Android, our work at Google includes laptops, headphones and speakers, smart home devices and much more.

That’s why we’re building on our efforts and introducing more simple and helpful ways to make your devices, from Android’s ecosystem and beyond, work better together.

Quickly set up and connect your new devices

It can be fun and exciting to get a new device — but that can turn into a headache when you start setting it up. We’re making this process a little less daunting with pairing support for more devices.

Fast Pair has already helped people connect their Android phones with Bluetooth accessories over 100 million times. It enables instant set up and device pairing, bringing up the companion app for installation and transferring your Google credentials. We’re continuing our work with partners to further extend Fast Pair’s functionality beyond audio connectivity with wearables, headphones, speakers and cars and extending it to TVs and smart home devices, so you can instantly start using all the devices in your life.

Starting in a few weeks, when you turn on your Fast Pair-enabled headphones, your Chromebook will automatically detect it and pair with it in a single click, letting you stay focused when studying or working wherever you are. If you get a new Chromebook later this year, you can use your Android phone to quickly set it up and get immediate access to all of the information you’ve already saved, like your Google login and your Wi-Fi password.

Log in credentials transferring from a side by side Android phone to a red Chromebook laptop.

In the coming months, you’ll be able to set up your headphones for when you need to watch quietly with your Google TV or Android TV OS device at home. And with built-in support for Matter on Android, you’ll be able to use Fast Pair to quickly connect new Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home and other accompanying apps all in just a few taps.

A phone showing the process of connecting a smart bulb into the Google Home app with Fast Pair for Matter-enabled devices

Lock and unlock your devices

Today, you can already unlock your Chromebook with your Android phone to quickly get right to work. In the coming months, we’ll bring this feature to your paired Wear OS smartwatch so you can instantly unlock and access your Chromebook and Android phone or tablet when you’re close by.

A phone unlocks next to a watch face motioning through a passcode

And with a digital car key, you can now use your compatible Samsung or Pixel phone to lock, unlock and start your supported BMW vehicles from your phone. Starting later this year, on phones with Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology, you won’t even have to take your phone out to use it as a car key. You’ll also be able to securely and remotely share your car key with friends and family if they need to borrow your car. We’re working to bring digital car keys to more Android phones and vehicles later this year.

A phone over an outlined graphic of a car and an unlock motion

Complete tasks and share media across devices

To amplify your visual and audio experiences, your devices should instinctively know which of them you want to use and when. We’re building a technology for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that will enable them to automatically switch the audio to whatever device you’re listening to. So if you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done. Spatial audio on your headsets will make you feel like you’re really there by adapting the sound based on your head movements, positioning the audio in the space all around you. These features will be available in the next few months on supported headphones.

A video of a movie with dancers playing on a tablet, with a phone on next to it receiving a phone call

We’re also making it easier to move and manage your content across any device. With Chromecast built-in, your Android phone already allows you to share videos to displays and TVs as well as audio content to select speakers from Nest and others. To help you cast music and podcasts you’re listening to from your Android phone to more of your speakers, we’re bringing Chromecast built-in to more brands, starting with all Bose smart speakers and soundbars in the next few months.

A phone above a Bose soundbar showing a cast connection

Whether you’re at home or on the go, we’re also adding features to Phone Hub on Chromebooks later this year that help you accomplish more across your devices. Today, you can use your Chromebook to view and respond to chat notifications, toggle Do Not Disturb, set off the ringtone to find your phone or continue browsing recent Chrome tabs. Later this year, if you’re working on your Chromebook and your Android phone is out of reach (such as charging in a different room), you’ll be able to stay in touch by accessing chat apps from your phone directly to your Chromebook –without needing to install them again on your Chromebook. We’re also excited to add Camera Roll to the Phone Hub, which makes access to your most recent photos and videos as easy as one click.

A phone receiving a text message, with the message appearing on a red laptop for responding

Today, you can already use your voice while driving to close the garage door, turn off the kitchen lights, turn down the thermostat and check if you locked the front door. You’ll soon be able to ask Google for help even before you leave the front door. With remote actions, you can use your voice to warm up and cool down your car, lock and unlock and get information (like how much battery you have left) on all Assistant-enabled devices. These capabilities are coming first to vehicles from Volvo Cars in the coming months, with more to follow.

Do more with Android and Windows PCs

For the first time with Android, we’re also focused on building for other platforms, like Windows, whether it's in gaming, productivity or other areas. For example, by connecting your Android phone to your Windows PC with Fast Pair, you’ll be able to quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages and share files with Nearby Share. We’re working with Acer, HP and Intel to bring these experiences to select Windows PCs first later this year.

An HP Windows PC laptop next to a phone showing Nearby Share as a feature for sending files

These features will be rolling out throughout the year. Moving forward, you’ll continue to see us invest in more helpful ways for your devices to work better together.

Supporting digital education in Europe

The way we teach and learn has changed. We have all seen the world shift beneath our feet during the pandemic, as homes became classrooms and teachers found new ways to connect with their students while using technology in new ways.

While schools around the world are now moving back towards in-classroom learning, the importance of access to digital tools has been brought into focus, not only to support hybrid learning practices but also to ensure students are equipped with the tools and skills that set them up for success in building the future they want for themselves.

We’re excited to see that many EU member states, guided by the Digital Education Action Plan, have allocated a significant portion of Recovery and Resilience Facility funds towards national digital education transformation plans. However, large-scale projects in digital education sometimes struggle to deliver expected benefits or outcomes, and investments in digital equipment for schools are often under-utilized. To address this challenge and to support countries with their digital education transformation plans, Google is thrilled to announce the €15 million Google for Education EU Digital Support Fund.

Working with SMEs to support digital education

The Google for Digital Education Fund is designed to foster the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem, including the provision of infrastructure, connectivity and digital equipment, enabling digitally competent and confident teachers, and training staff. The Fund is open to local SMEs who are supporting national education projects funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility program. They can apply for funding from Google for the duration of the program (or until the funds have been exhausted) to cover Google's digital equipment and software. In this way, the Fund will contribute to addressing key digital education priorities in the EU by stimulating local innovation ecosystems in education and training.

A picture of a teacher wearing a mask teaching children in a classroom who all have their laptops open

The fund can be used towards supporting teacher training to help them leverage the most out of devices in the classroom

What does that look like in practice?

We have already seen impactful ways this could work across the EU region. The Municipality of Plovdiv in Bulgaria exemplifies the type of digital education transformation program that the Google Digital Education Fund intends to support. The aim of the Municipality of Plovdiv’s program was to successfully implement a cloud platform in order to deliver on the “digitalization and modernization of the learning process” and elevate the digital skills of educators and learners in all 77 of the schools in the Municipality. This program was delivered over three years from 2017-2019 and was the first digital education program of its kind in Bulgaria. Plovdiv’s School in the Cloud program has become the benchmark for all of Bulgaria and has led to widespread use of the Google for Education platform, with more than 10,000 teachers trained (over 1,000 of them certified by Google), and thousands of Chromebook devices being used across the country in accordance with acceptable use policies established by the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria.

Looking to the future

Our goal is to provide the information, tools and services that help students build knowledge, fuel curiosity, and prepare for what’s next. We are proud and excited to support the European Digital Education Action Plan, and look forward to helping EU Member States deliver successful digital education transformation programs.

The Google for Education EU Digital Support Fund is available to qualifying SMEs that are supporting EU Member State national digital education transformation programs funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility and related to the provisioning of Chromebooks (with the associated Chrome Education Upgrade license) and Google Workspace for Education. Click here to learn more and to apply.

7 apps we couldn’t live without in 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, our Chromebook Apps team is taking the time to reflect on all the ways Chromebooks have helped us tackle another year of doing just about everything from home. This year, we’re starting a new tradition: sharing a few of the many apps we couldn’t live without, from our team to you.

Designing holiday cards

Pixlr. ‘Tis the season to create memories that bring smiles to friends and family. But capturing a photo of my family of five, including toddlers, is no small feat. Pixlr lets you edit photos and create great designs right in your browser. I combined a few photos into one to give the appearance of a calm and serene group, while giving the background a perfect blur. – Maria Lundahl Schmidt, Chrome OS Apps Partnerships

A card that reads “Happy Holidays” with four photos of children playing outside

Maria’s family holiday card created with Pixlr

Staying entertained with Cloud gaming

Stadia. Gaming played a crucial role in keeping me entertained (and sane!) in 2021. This year I have been all about cloud-gaming and Celeste is the first game that sold me. Latency was my main hesitation with cloud gaming, so I put it to the test with a pixel-perfect platformer. I had played Celeste locally, so I knew that any delay in responsiveness would render one of my favorite indie games unplayable. To my delight, I didn’t notice any lag when playing on Stadia. –Sam Richard, Chrome OS Developer Advocate

Nvidia GeForce NOW. And for those looking for a new game that can show off the graphical capabilities of cloud-gaming, be sure to check out Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy on NVIDIA GeForce NOW. RTX support means it can be played with beautifully ray traced graphics (available on Chromebooks that support 4K), turning your Chromebook into the ultimate high-fidelity gaming rig! – Greg Nemeth, Chrome OS Games Partnerships

Painting with my kids during shelter in place

Krita. Sheltering in place in a cabin outside of Sweden has given my family some extra time to embrace our creative side. Krita – which is in beta – has been an amazing tool for us, and we have been able to create a plethora of princesses, unicorns and cat-like creatures. Krita is designed primarily for digital painting and 2D animation; it is open source and completely free of charge. The name "Krita" is inspired by the Swedish words krita, meaning "crayon," and rita, which means "to draw," so it made perfect sense for us to use this wonderful tool for digital artists. – Maria Lundahl Schmidt, Chrome OS Apps Partnerships

Connecting virtually with family and friends

Rave. When my kids are asleep, I use Rave, a watch party app, with my friends to text and voice message while binging Netflix and watching YouTube videos together. We even hosted a few karaoke nights with our friends who live outside of California. It became the weekend highlight for us. – Sanj Nathwani, Chrome OS Product Manager

Zoom. Making sure my 2 and 4-year-olds and I can spend virtual time with our loved ones has been important for my family. Zoom’s new progressive web app (PWA) for Chromebooks makes it incredibly easy to join any call with a single click. It works in Chrome browser on any operating system — so I never need to worry about whether my friends or family will be able to access a group meeting. – James Wagner, Chrome OS Apps Program Manager

Unleashing my creative side

Sumo. One of my resolutions this year was to get into painting again. When I started using the web-based app Sumopaint, it was impossible to miss the other tools they have — like making music, 3D modeling, coding or editing photos and videos. My favorite part: how easy everything was to learn, and how you can share assets between apps in the suite through a common asset library. – Neel Kshetramade, Chrome OS Apps Program Manager

A colorful painting of Inara, her parents and her little brother

Painting by Neel’s daughter, created using Sumopaint

Hopefully you’ll have some down-time over the holidays. Some of the ways my team plans to spend that time is watching their favorite holiday movies — like Home Alone or The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+, or learning to code as a family with Piper Make, or making music with Cubasis 3’s custom Chromebooks app.

We hope you and your family enjoy these apps as much as we do. Give them a spin during the holidays. Be sure to check out the Perks page to find special offers on some great apps — created exclusively for Chromebooks.

Do even more with your Chromebook camera

This summer, we shared an update about how we’re continuing to improve video calling on Chromebooks, thanks to performance improvements across Google Meet, Zoom and more. And the camera on your Chromebook is good for more than just video chatting. Hundreds of millions of images and videos have been captured using the Chromebook Camera app so far this year.

Today, we’re sharing a few features that make your Chromebook’s camera even more useful.

Scan documents and more

Have you ever wanted to use your Chromebook to share a physical document or image, but weren’t sure how without the help of a scanner? You can now use your Chromebook’s built-in camera to scan any document and turn it into a PDF or JPEG file. If your Chromebook comes with a front and back facing camera, you can use either of these to scan.

Open the Camera app and select “Scan” mode. When you hold out the document you want to scan in front of the camera, the edges will be automatically detected. Once it’s done, it’s easy to share through Gmail, to social media or to nearby Android phones or Chromebooks using Nearby Share.

Chromebook Camera app in “Scan” mode scanning a hard copy document.

You can now scan files using your Chromebook’s built-in camera.

Personalize your camera angle

If you use an external camera with your Chromebook, you can use the Pan-Tilt-Zoom feature to have more control over what your camera captures. You can now crop and angle your camera view exactly how you want it. Whether you want to show your furry friend napping in the background or just want to zoom in on yourself, your Chromebook’s got you covered.

With your external camera plugged in and configured, open the Camera app to adjust the angle you want to capture. Your selections will automatically save so when you jump from a Google Meet work call to making a video with your new puppy, your camera angle preferences will stay the same.

Man sitting on the floor uses the Pan-Tilt-Zoom feature open on the left hand side of the screen to adjust the camera angle.

With Pan-Tilt-Zoom you can adjust your camera angle to capture only what you want.

Try other Camera app features

In addition to taking pictures or scanning documents with your Chromebook’s camera, here are a few other features to test out:

  • Video mode. If you want to send a quick message to a loved one for their birthday, record a video by clicking on the “Video” mode.
  • Self timer. You don’t need to be within arm’s length of your laptop to take a picture. Set the timer, and you can take a few steps back to get the perfect shot.
  • QR Code. In addition to new document scanning, you can also use the “Scan” option to scan QR codes. It works just like document scanning, so use your front or back facing camera to scan a QR code.
  • Save for later. All your pictures and videos will automatically save to the “Camera” folder in your Files app for easy access later.

And coming soon…

Starting early next year, you’ll be able to create GIFs on the Camera app. Just record a five-second video dancing around with friends, hugging your loved ones, or playing with your favorite pet, and it will automatically turn into a shareable GIF.

If you’re interested in getting a sneak peak and providing feedback on Chromebook features before they launch, join our Chrome OS Beta Community. Sign-up here to be a Chrome OS Beta Tester Product Expert. Currently in Beta is a feature that integrates the Camera app with the Google Assistant. Just say “take a photo,” “record video” or “take a selfie” – you can even use Google Assistant to open the Camera app, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

We’ll be back in the new year to share more new Chromebook features.

Check out Chromebook’s new accessibility features

With accessibility features on Chromebooks, we want everyone to have a good experience on their computer – so people can get things done, families can play together, students and teachers can learn together, and employees can work productively and efficiently, wherever they are. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so we wanted to share a few recent and new Chromebook features that help people access information in a way that works for them.

New enhanced voices for Select-to-speak

People spend a lot of time reading on their laptop, doing things like reading news articles or reviewing school textbooks. Reading on a screen can be less than ideal for many, including people with dyslexia (an estimated 10-20% of the population), low vision, those learning a new language or people who have a hard time focusing on busy text.

With a few clicks, Select-to-speak on Chromebooks allows you to hear selected text on your screen spoken out loud. Earlier this year we added new features like controls to speed up, slow down or pause the reading voice, and to easily jump to different parts of text. Plus, you can choose to highlight the words being spoken while shading background text to help focus your attention.

Lines of a shopping list are outlined in a magenta square, while individual words are highlighted, insinuating they are being read aloud by the Select-to-speak tool.

Today, we’re announcing new, more human sounding voices for Select-to-speak, to help spoken text be more fluid and easier to understand. Natural voices are currently available in various accents in 25 languages with more to come.

To develop this feature, we worked with educators who specialize in dyslexia, as well as individuals with dyslexia. They shared that hearing text read out loud enhances comprehension – especially in an educational setting. By bringing natural-sounding voices to the feature, for example a local accent you’re used to, it’s also easier to follow along with the content being read and highlighted on screen.

Try it out by enabling Select-to-speak in Chromebook settings, and picking your preferred voice. Then select the text you want read out loud and press the Everything Button or Launcher Key + S.

A screen with Select-to speak being used on the Google Accessibility website.

I'm dyslexic and have ADHD and have trouble with reading/learning. You have no idea the amount of knowledge I've had to “let go of” because I simply can't navigate through the words and my attention just would not stick. I'm a great audio learner and have just discovered text-to-speech features. I’m so excited to use this tool!

- Chromebook user with dyslexia

Making Chromebooks more accessible

Over the past year, we’ve also made it easier to use, discover and customize Chromebook’s built-in accessibility features. This includes updates to the screen magnifier, like keyboard panning and shortcuts. We have also developed new in-product tutorials for ChromeVox, and we’ve introduced point scanning to make the selection process for switch users more efficient.

A young boy wearing glasses is lying on a bed looking at a Chromebook, with his mother next to him.

As a public middle school Reading & Dyslexia Specialist, accessibility tools are crucial to student success in education… stop, fast forward, and rewind help build metacognition and reading comprehension skills. Thank you for adapting to the accessibility needs of children.

- Sharon McMichael, Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist (C.E.R.I.)

Become a certified Chromebook

accessibility expert

For assistive tech trainers, educators and users with a disability who want to learn more about Chromebook’s accessibility features, this summer we launched an online training program in conjunction with The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP). This eight-module course covers Chromebook and Google Workspace accessibility features. After completing the free course and final exam, you’ll receive a digital badge as a Chromebook Accessibility expert.

We’ll be back later this year to share more new Chromebook features.

Check out Chromebook’s new accessibility features

With accessibility features on Chromebooks, we want everyone to have a good experience on their computer – so people can get things done, families can play together, students and teachers can learn together, and employees can work productively and efficiently, wherever they are. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so we wanted to share a few recent and new Chromebook features that help people access information in a way that works for them.

New enhanced voices for Select-to-speak

People spend a lot of time reading on their laptop, doing things like reading news articles or reviewing school textbooks. Reading on a screen can be less than ideal for many, including people with dyslexia (an estimated 10-20% of the population), low vision, those learning a new language or people who have a hard time focusing on busy text.

With a few clicks, Select-to-speak on Chromebooks allows you to hear selected text on your screen spoken out loud. Earlier this year we added new features like controls to speed up, slow down or pause the reading voice, and to easily jump to different parts of text. Plus, you can choose to highlight the words being spoken while shading background text to help focus your attention.

Lines of a shopping list are outlined in a magenta square, while individual words are highlighted, insinuating they are being read aloud by the Select-to-speak tool.

Today, we’re announcing new, more human sounding voices for Select-to-speak, to help spoken text be more fluid and easier to understand. Natural voices are currently available in various accents in 25 languages with more to come.

To develop this feature, we worked with educators who specialize in dyslexia, as well as individuals with dyslexia. They shared that hearing text read out loud enhances comprehension – especially in an educational setting. By bringing natural-sounding voices to the feature, for example a local accent you’re used to, it’s also easier to follow along with the content being read and highlighted on screen.

Try it out by enabling Select-to-speak in Chromebook settings, and picking your preferred voice. Then select the text you want read out loud and press the Everything Button or Launcher Key + S.

A screen with Select-to speak being used on the Google Accessibility website.

I'm dyslexic and have ADHD and have trouble with reading/learning. You have no idea the amount of knowledge I've had to “let go of” because I simply can't navigate through the words and my attention just would not stick. I'm a great audio learner and have just discovered text-to-speech features. I’m so excited to use this tool!

- Chromebook user with dyslexia

Making Chromebooks more accessible

Over the past year, we’ve also made it easier to use, discover and customize Chromebook’s built-in accessibility features. This includes updates to the screen magnifier, like keyboard panning and shortcuts. We have also developed new in-product tutorials for ChromeVox, and we’ve introduced point scanning to make the selection process for switch users more efficient.

A young boy wearing glasses is lying on a bed looking at a Chromebook, with his mother next to him.

As a public middle school Reading & Dyslexia Specialist, accessibility tools are crucial to student success in education… stop, fast forward, and rewind help build metacognition and reading comprehension skills. Thank you for adapting to the accessibility needs of children.

- Sharon McMichael, Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist (C.E.R.I.)

Become a certified Chromebook

accessibility expert

For assistive tech trainers, educators and users with a disability who want to learn more about Chromebook’s accessibility features, this summer we launched an online training program in conjunction with The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP). This eight-module course covers Chromebook and Google Workspace accessibility features. After completing the free course and final exam, you’ll receive a digital badge as a Chromebook Accessibility expert.

We’ll be back later this year to share more new Chromebook features.

We analyzed 80 million ransomware samples – here’s what we learned

Leaders at organizations across the globe are witnessing the alarming rise of ransomware threats, leaving them with the sobering thought that an attack on their business may be not a matter of if, but when.

The stakes are becoming higher. Hackers aren’t just demanding money, they’re threatening to reveal sensitive or valuable information if companies don’t pay up or if they contact law enforcement authorities. For example, if you run a healthcare organization, the impact can be even more dire - as evidenced by this new report on ransomware attacks that finds attacks against hospitals have resulted in delays in tests and procedures, patients being kept longer, and even death.

One of the main challenges to stopping ransomware attacks is the lack of comprehensive visibility into how these attacks spread and evolve. Leaders are often left with bits and pieces of information that don’t add up.

VirusTotal’s first Ransomware Activity Report provides a holistic view of ransomware attacks by combining more than 80 million potential ransomware-related samples submitted over the last year and a half. This report is designed to help researchers, security practitioners and the general public understand the nature of ransomware attacks while enabling cyber professionals to better analyze suspicious files, URLs, domains and IP addresses. Sharing insights behind how attacks develop is essential to anticipating their evolution and detecting cybersecurity threats across the globe.

Of the 140 countries that submitted ransomware samples, Israel was far and away an outlier, with the highest number of submissions and nearly a 600 percent increase in the number of submissions compared to its baseline. Israel was followed by South Korea, Vietnam, China, Singapore, India, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Iran and the UK as the most affected territories based on the number of submissions to VirusTotal.

Geographical distribution of ransomware-related submissions

Geographical distribution of ransomware-related submissions

We saw peaks of ransomware activity in the first two quarters of 2020, primarily due to the ransomware-as-a-service group GandCrab (though its prevalence decreased dramatically in the second half of the year). Another sizable peak occurred in July 2021, driven by the Babuk ransomware family – a ransomware operation launched at the beginning of 2021 that was behind the attack on the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department.

At least 130 different ransomware families were active in 2020 and the first half of 2021 — grouped by 30,000 clusters of malware that looked and operated in a similar fashion. With 6,000 clusters, GandCrab was the most active family - followed by Babuk, Cerber, Matsnu, Congur, Locky, Teslacrypt, Rkor and Reveon.

Ransomware Activity of 100 Most Active Ransomware Families

Activity of 100 most active ransomware families

While these big campaigns come and go, there is a constant baseline of ransomware activity of approximately 100 ransomware families that never stops. Attackers are using a range of approaches, including well-known botnet malware and other Remote Access Trojans (RATs) as vehicles to deliver their ransomware. In most cases, they are using fresh or new ransomware samples for their campaigns. This broad collection of activity provides vital insights into ransomware growth, evolution and impact on organizations of all sizes, and provides the bread crumbs needed for businesses and governments to be much more proactive in building cybersecurity into their infrastructure.

How We Are Keeping Your Business Safe From This Threat

At Google, our platforms and products have to be secure by default, and have been designed to keep businesses protected from cybersecurity attacks, including the growing threat of ransomware.

Our Chrome OS cloud-first platform has had no reported ransomware attacks — ever — on any business, education or consumer Chrome OS device. Developed with built-in and proactive security, Chrome OS blocks executables that ransomware often hides in, and system files are kept in a read-only partition ensuring the OS can’t be modified by apps or extensions. Additionally, the cloud-first nature of Chrome OS means that your data and files are backed up in the cloud and recoverable if an attack were to happen.

We are committed to offering the industry’s most trusted cloud, and have developed solutions that help companies adhere to the five pillars of NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework - from identification to recovery. For example, our Cloud Asset Inventory helps businesses identify and monitor all their assets in one place. With email at the heart of many ransomware attacks, Google Workspace’s advanced phishing and malware protection provides controls to quarantine emails, defends against anomalous attachment types and protects from inbound spoofing emails. Chronicle, Google Cloud’s threat detection platform, allows businesses to find and analyze threats faster within their infrastructure and applications, whether that's on Google Cloud or anywhere else. With engineered-in capabilities and additional solutions, we also make it simple and efficient to respond and recover in the event of an incident.

With better data from crowdsourced intelligence platforms like VirusTotal, C-level decision makers can proactively ensure a more robust range of security solutions are implemented, and that multi-layered approaches to security become standard across all organizations. It’s the only way to keep our businesses, schools, hospitals and governments safe against ransomware attacks.

To learn more about how Google can help your organization solve its cybersecurity challenges check out our Google Cybersecurity Action Team.

New designs for Chrome and Chrome OS, by Latino artists

As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we pay tribute to the generations of Latinos who have positively influenced and enriched society, arts, culture and science in the United States.

As a proud Latina, I have seen first hand how our diversity is our strength. We use various terms to define ourselves (Hispanic, Latinx, Latino, Black, Mexican, Salvadoran, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, and more), yet we still can come together as one resilient community.

This year Chrome partnered with Latino artists to create a collection of themes that celebrate our heritage. You can use them to customize your Chrome browser and Chromebook wallpapers. The work reflects a variety of meaningful subjects, from family to the subtle ways we all stay connected. This collection continues our work commissioning contemporary artists to visually show how people use Chrome and Chromebooks to get things done, explore, find and connect. 

Meet the commissioned artists, and browse the 20 new backgrounds in the collection on the Chrome Web Store or in your Chromebook wallpaper gallery.

Chromebook keeps important files at your fingertips

We’ve all taken a screenshot, only to have it disappear in a sea of icons on our desktop. Or downloaded a file to a computer…and struggled to find it again. And it can be hard to stay on task when you have to dig to find the document you need.

That’s why earlier this year, we introduced Tote – a holding area on your Chromebook shelf that keeps your important files right at your fingertips. Since we launched Tote, we’ve made it even better, with updates like access to files you’ve scanned, diagnostic reports, saved PDFs and more.

Here are a few tips to keep yourself organized and productive with Tote:

Pin important files for quick access

When you open Tote from your Chromebook’s shelf, you’ll find recent screenshots and downloads – files most people will want access to right away. If you want to keep a specific file handy indefinitely, click to “pin” it to Tote. 

If you’re working on a project for a few weeks and know you’ll want to add the same logo across several presentations, spreadsheets and emails – just pin it. When you need the logo, drag and drop it from Tote into your document. It’s much faster than searching through your files every time. Plus, you can select and share multiple files from Tote at once.

Pin as many files as you’d like, and once you’re done with them, you can un-pin or remove them from Tote altogether with a right-click.

A zoomed in look at Tote, which has several files pinned, including a Logo, a zip file, and a GIF.

 In Tote, you can pin files that you want to access frequently and easily.

Easily accessible (and shareable) screenshots

Tote also integrates well with other Chromebook features, like Screen Capture, to help you use your content right away. After taking a screenshot you can drag and drop straight from Tote, or find it saved in your clipboard alongside the last five items you copied. By pressing Everything Button + V you can paste the screenshot into a document or message – no dragging required.

Or if you need to make edits or annotations to your screenshot, just open it from Tote and get started. Any changes you make will be saved to the screenshot in Tote, so you can add more edits later if needed.


Automatically save scans 

Now when you use the Scan app to scan and save files to your Chromebook, they will also appear in Tote under “Downloads.” Our team likes to use the scanning tool to digitize old family recipes or upload a new lease agreement. Now that scanned files go directly to Tote, it’s even easier to open  or share them right away.

Along with new scans, other Chromebook downloads like the results of a Diagnostics test or downloads from an app will also save to Tote. 

A zoomed in look at Tote, with a file called “Lease_Agreement.pdf” in the “Downloads” section.

Now scanned files and reports from the Diagnostic App on Chromebook will automatically appear in Tote, under “Downloads.”

Shortcut to downloads

Tote was designed to keep your most recent files – the ones you’re most likely to use – easy to find and use. But if you need to find an older download, like a receipt or budget tracker from last week, Tote can help with that, too. 

The arrow next to “Downloads” in Tote is a shortcut to the Files app. With a click, the downloads section of the Files app will open, and you can scroll until you spot your lost budget tracker. To keep it on hand, right-click and select “pin to shelf” or drag it to the Tote icon on your shelf.

A GIF that shows a user right clicking on a spreadsheet and saving it to Tote.

From the Files app, right click or drag a file to Tote to pin it.

See Tote contents at a glance

Tote is built right into your Chromebook shelf, so you have easy access to your files when you need them, and it’s not in the way when you don’t.  On your shelf you’ll also notice up to three circles showing a preview of any recently added screenshots or downloads, so you have a visual reminder of what content is in Tote without needing to open it. If you want to get rid of the preview circles on your shelf, right-click on them and opt to hide previews.

Later this year, we’re also adding your file’s download status in both the shelf preview and in Tote. With a quick look you’ll be able to see how close your file is to being ready.

In Tote, two files are in progress downloading, one video and one spreadsheet.

 Soon you’ll be able to see download status for files in Tote.

Keep an eye out as we continue to add even more helpful productivity tools to Chromebooks. 

9 apps to help kids sharpen their coding skills

Coding is a skill that’s now part of just about every discipline — and what’s more, it’s fun for kids to learn, and easy for parents and teachers to add to lessons at home or school. As kids get ready to go back to school and Chromebooks are once again on desks at home and in the classroom, it’s a good time to boost students’ coding knowledge. At Google, we believe every student deserves the chance to explore, advance and succeed in computer science. Practical computer science skills can help students learn and create, and bring more relevance to nearly any subject, from history to literature to current events. 

Thanks to the devices and apps below, students of all ages can be engaged while learning to code. Fortunately, there are coding apps for just about every grade and skill level. Here are our suggestions for apps and devices to check out this fall, whether you’re in a classroom or at home with learners.

Coding apps to try in the classroom and at home

Whether it’s creating a video game as an assignment in science class, or building a website for a side project (lemonade stand, anyone?), there are coding apps for the whole family and the whole class. Families can find all of these apps on the Google Play Store, and schools can find out more information on the Chromebook App Hub


Beginning to code

  • Cloud Stop Motion (Play Store) is a fun stop-motion and animation movie creator. Cloud Stop Motion enables kids to work with animations on a zoomable, scrollable timeline. Sound effects, music, titles, credits and speech bubbles can be added before rendering to an MP4 movie. An extensive library of audio, backgrounds and styles included, this app is great for students and parents alike.

  • Grasshopper(Web app) is a coding app for beginning learners that uses games to build skills with JavaScript. Learners can move up through progressively challenging levels to refine their coding prowess.

  • Scratch Jr(Play Store) is tailor-made for younger learners. Scratch Jr is actually based on a programming language that teaches kids how to program by creating their own interactive stories and games. 

  • Tynker Jr (Play Store) is perfect for children just learning to read. Children ages 5-7 can learn the fundamentals of coding by connecting picture blocks to move their characters.

More advanced coders

  • Bloxels (Play Store, App Hub) lets anyone build a video game with their own characters and art. Game worlds are quick to build with built-in logic, triggers and actions.

  • Codecademy(Play Store) Codecademy creates an engaging, flexible, and accessible way to learn to code online, making it possible for anyone to gain skills for employability and build something meaningful with technology. Access hundreds of courses in subjects like web development and data science, as well as in-demand languages like Python, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • Piper Make (Play Store, App Hub) is a drag-and-drop coding platform for the Pico, the newest microcontroller board from Raspberry Pi. Using Piper’s hardware packages available online, the Piper Make portal offers new narrative-based tutorials, projects, and ways to start building and coding technology.

  • Replit(Play Store, App Hub) is a simple, yet powerful online coding platform. It's perfect for beginners, who are coding for the first time, but also scales to the needs of teachers and professional programmers with decades of experience. Replit supports all programming languages, including Python, Java, Javascript + HTML/CSS, and C/C++, and runs on every device, including Chromebooks. It combines an IDE (integrated development environment) with a debugger, built-in testing/autograding, and hosting tools to build websites and applications.

  • Tynker(Play Store, App Hub) features block-based coding challenges that help learners move on to more complex skills like Python coding and advanced computer science. It even offers AP Computer Science courses.

Devices for coding, creating and anything in between

With new devices for learning anywhere or advanced use, students and families can find devices for more robust needs such as content creation and editing, coding, and running apps in virtualized environments simultaneously with large video calls. 

There’s a device for everyone in the family or classroom. This includes devices like the Lenovo 500e Gen 3, which works in both laptop and tablet mode and has a rear-facing camera and built-in stylus. It also includes the spill-resistant HP Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE, the Acer Chromebook Spin 512, or the Lenovo 300e Gen 3 with its 3:2 ratio, ideal for reading and working on Docs more comfortably, an Always Connected LTE enabled device with dual cameras. You can find all the latest in this handy guide for schools, or on chromebook.com. 

To learn more about Google’s commitment to closing equity gaps in computer science education and discover lessons, research, scholarship opportunities and more, visit our Code with Google page. Educators can also find CS resources on our website and on the Chromebook App Hub. And for more resources for families, with guidance on everything from classroom tools to screen time best practices, visit families.google.com, and sign up for Family Link for parents to help set digital ground rules on their school or personal device.