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Chrome OS Build 19.0.1048.17 Adds New Window Manager ‘Aura’

The Chrome team’s latest Dev channel released has been updated to 19.0.1048.17 (Platform versions: 2046.20.0) for Chromebooks (Acer AC700 and Samsung Series 5) and contains a number of new features, as well as security & stability improvements.

Some highlights of the changes include are:

  • New modes for multiple monitor handling: mirrored (highest common resolution only), show only on primary, show only on secondary (Switch with Ctrl + F5)
  • Updated Scratchpad app
  • New file types supported – tar, gz, bzip2
  • Updates to local audio and video player
  • Functional and visual refresh of the Chrome OS Settings
  • Recovery tool supports re-formatting recovery media (use a previous recovery image USB)
  • Introduced new Japanese fonts (Motoya G04 Gothic/Mincho)
  • Redesigned UI and updated Window Manager.

This build of Chrome OS when installing looks more like a desktop operating system — thanks to Google’s new window manager dubbed “Aura,” that brings along with many features of a desktop OS.

Chrome OS now has a desktop, a taskbar, apps are placed on the desktop, there’s support for wallpapers and overlapping windows.

Aura is cross-platform and should “provide the foundation of a flexible windowing system and shell for Chrome and ChromeOS on a variety of form factors”.

According to Chrome’s engineers, “Aura is a hardware-accelerated “user interface framework for Chrome UI” that offers “rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions, and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration”.”

Also, the Chrome Stable channel has been updated to 18.0.1025.152 on Windows.

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