Chromebooks get Google Now and Material Design in Chrome OS 42

In today's open source roundup: Chrome OS 42 includes Material Design and Google Now. Plus: DistroWatch reviews Linux Mint Debian Edition 2. And six reasons why Linux is a good choice for users with disabilities

Chrome OS 42 adds Material Design and Google Now

Google's Chromebooks have been bestsellers on Amazon for ages, and now Chrome OS has been updated to version 42. Chrome OS 42 brings Google Now and Material design to Chromebook users.

Nick Mediati reports for PC World:

Launcher 2.0 in Chrome OS 42 has a new look that’s based on the Material Design look and feel featured in Android Lollipop. Google Now integration means you can quickly get information—such as weather conditions, stock quotes, and your calendar events—at a glance, and perform Google searches with your voice.

Other new features in this release include a new version of the Calculator app, new support for password-protected ZIP files, and a reworked Files app that better fits the Material Design motif. Google also switched the system font to Roboto—the same used for Android—to make the whole system more Material-y.

More at PC World

You can also read the official announcement on the Chrome Releases blog:

The Stable channel has been updated to 42.0.2311.87 (platform version: 6812.75.2). Systems will be automatically updated over the next few weeks. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates, and feature enhancements.

Some highlights of these changes are as follows:

Files app has been refreshed to follow the suit with Material Design
New Chrome OS Launcher including better search experience, voice search, and Google Now integration
Updated calculator app
Support for password-protected zip files
Default typeface on all Chromebooks has been updated to Roboto for Latin, Greek and Cyrillic scripts, to be more consistent with Material Design

More at Chrome Releases

Responses from Chromebook users on the Chrome Releases blog seemed mixed:

Ambient Monkey: "It a POS, I've loads of tabs and I disable internet and open chrome so that I could only load tabs I want, now once I enable internet connection it loads all tabs by itself, this POS..."

Rafel Hilario: "Excellent update left the Chrome OS much better but still have to improve a lot. I missed only the new form of favoritar the sites that was introduced in the final version 42 of Google Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux in more is very good."

NeoWolf: "Does anything need to be done to get Google Now Cards to show up in the launcher? I still get them in the notification area."

Tarun Tej: "I really dislike the new font. Also, I'd love an option to keep the file tree from cluttering the left pane in the files app."

Jim Thompson: "I concur with other posters who complain they can't find Google Now. I still get cards in Notifications and have no access to Google Now from the launcher."

More at Chrome Releases

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