Google has announced some major changes to the Chrome OS release cycle. The company plans to be more aggressive with the update schedule for Chromebooks and release new features and improvements to them more frequently.
The Chrome OS rollout schedule changes are similar to what Google announced for Chrome earlier this year.
Chrome OS Will Switch to a Four-Week Release Cycle
Google has announced on its Chromium blog that it will be moving Chrome OS to a four-week stable channel starting with the release of Chrome OS 96 in Q4. This is similar to the upcoming Chrome release cycle, where Google will release a new milestone build every four weeks.
Despite the aggressive new release cycle, Google will continue to focus on security, stability, speed, and simplicity with Chrome OS updates. In addition, for education and enterprise users where such frequent updates could be an issue, Google will be offering a new six-month Extended Stable channel starting with the release of Chrome OS 96.
Before the new release cycle kicks in, though, and to accommodate for all the changes in between, Google will skip the Chrome OS 95 release. This will also allow the company to sync the Chrome and Chrome OS release schedules. Your Chromebook will get the Chrome OS 94 update, and then in Q4, directly get the Chrome OS 96 update, which is scheduled for release in November.
Chrome OS 94 is currently scheduled to release on the beta channel on September 6, and the stable release is scheduled for October 14.
Google was able to switch to a faster release cycle for Chrome due to the improvements in its testing and release processes over the years. The faster update cycle means Google can roll out new features and security improvements to the browser quickly. Since Chrome OS is also based on Chrome, the switch to a four-week release cycle for the former makes sense.
If you use a Chromebook, the faster Chrome OS release schedule should not bother you much since the OS tends to auto-update itself in the background. On the plus side, the faster release cycle means you will frequently get to try out new features on your Chromebook.
How to Find the Current Version of Chrome OS on Your Chromebook
If you are unsure of the current Chrome OS build on your Chromebook or want to force your device to look for an update, follow the below steps.
- Click on the time located at the bottom-right corner of your Chromebook. Next, select Settings followed by About Chrome OS from the bottom of the panel on the left.
- You will find the current version of the Chrome OS release on your Chromebook along with a Check for Updates button to download any new update.
If there are any new updates, your Chromebook will download and install them. However, you will have to restart the device for the changes to take effect.