Google's Chrome OS 67 is out: Progressive Webs Apps, plus 2-in-1 Chromebooks boost

Google readies Chrome OS for detachable screen laptops and web apps that run outside the browser.

Video: Chrome OS goes detachable with the launch of HP's Chromebook x2.

Google has released version 67 of Chrome OS with new support for Progressive Web Apps that behave more like desktop apps.

Following Microsoft's support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Windows 10, Google has rolled out support for PWAs on the desktop in the latest version of Chrome OS.

PWAs are web apps but thanks to service workers they can act more like a native app and run in so-called app windows instead of a browser tab. They are fast, can work offline, and there are no long loading times.

In Chrome OS, sites and web apps will run in their own standalone window but also have browser-like features such as shareable URLs and Google Cast support.

The app windows make it easier to do a single task or multi-task with several open windows. Users can also switch between apps using shortcuts like alt-tab. Chrome on Mac and Windows will get PWA support in future releases.

See: How to build a successful developer career (free PDF)

The update also brings a number of other features for newer 2-in-1 Chromebooks like HP's Chromebook x2.

Chrome OS now includes split-screen support in tablet mode, and a feature that detects when a screen is detached and placed on a new base.

For Chrome OS tablets like Acer's Chromebook Tab 10, the update brings 'Touchable material 2.0' design elements that make it easier to interact with software using touch.

And for Android apps that can run on select Chromebooks, this update brings Chrome page zoom to Google Play apps.

Other updates include a cleaner and improved Bluetooth list, select-to-speak for having text read aloud, inline touchable folders in launcher, support for zipping files on Drive via the Files app, and power menu shortcuts.

Previous and related coverage

HP Chromebook x2 is the first detachable Chromebook, takes aim at iPad Pro

HP's two-in-one device is a high-end Chromebook with 12.3-inch screen: can it take on Apple's iPad Pro?

Chromebooks in 2018: Ready for take-off?

Chromebooks account for a small percentage of the PC market, but shipments are on the rise. Will this continue, or will Microsoft's Windows 10 S ecosystem halt the advance of Chrome OS?

Phishing attacks, not breaches, represent the biggest security risk for Google users (TechRepublic)

This week, Google announced plans to increase security protections for 67 million accounts after studying hijackers in black markets.

Chrome OS gets Android apps: Merging Chrome OS and Android gets closer

Google bringing Android apps to Chrome OS puts the company in a better position to merge the two OSes.

Windows 10 vs Chrome OS: Acer reveals new $350 Chromebook Spin 11 convertible

Acer unveils three new ChromeOS devices for consumers and the education market.

Google Chrome will resume blocking web audio in October (CNET)

Enjoy playing online games that have sound? Brace yourself.