Forget Copilot: 5 Big AI Features Google Introduced to Chromebooks This Week

Carrie Vaughan/ZDNET
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It was only a matter of time before Google injected AI into Chrome OS.

That time is now.

Also: These top Chromebook picks for students do it all.

Chromebook Plus (the standard for high-end Chrome OS hardware that includes special features) is getting an update today that raises the level of the platform so that AI plays a more prominent role. The goal is to help you get the most out of AI when you're using Chrome OS for certain tasks.

Let's break down the most useful AI features coming to Chromebook Plus with this latest update.

1. The Magic Editor in Google Photos

By now, you know what Magic Editor is and how it can help you create the perfect photo. However, until now this feature was only available on phones. Get ready, because Magic Eraser is now available on Chromebook Plus.

Also: Magic Editor and other AI features in Google Photos are coming to your phone for free.

You'll be able to select a photo in the Google Photos app, tap (or click) on the Magic Eraser, and start editing the photo to your liking. You can reposition and resize objects, use related tips to improve lighting and backgrounds, and completely reimagine your photos with just a few clicks.

2. Gemini on your Chromebook

That's right, Gemini is now available on your Chromebook. Whenever you need help with an idea, get an answer to a question, plan a trip, research a topic and more, all you have to do is tap the Gemini icon on your app shelf. Tap to start a conversation.

If you're a new Chromebook Plus user, you'll get 12 months of the Google One AI Premium plan at no cost. After that, you have to pay for a Gemini subscription. This plan includes access to Gemini Advance, 2TB of cloud storage, Documents in Gemini, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and more.

3. Help me write.

Help Me Write leverages Google's AI chips everywhere you write, such as websites, PDF forms, online applications, web apps, and more. When you need help writing, right-click (or tap with two fingers) on the text area to get suggestions, or even get help changing the tone to suit your audience.

Also: Chrome now has a new AI writing tool that helps you write almost anything online.

Help Me Write helps you create text from scratch, using a prompt, or can help you formalize, shorten, or completely rewrite existing text.

4. AI generated wallpapers and video call backgrounds

With the help of AI, you'll be able to dream up any kind of image you want or need to serve as your Chromebook wallpaper or video call background.

You'll find some pre-made prompts to help you create all kinds of backgrounds (like fun, whimsical, zen, and professional). Choose what you want to see, and Google's AI will take it from there to create a custom image for your prompt.

5. Quick access to Google Tasks

If you're a fan of Google Tasks, you'll be happy to hear that you now have one-click access to Google Tasks via its built-in view that makes it easy to add or check off a todo.

Also: ChatGPT vs Microsoft Copilot vs Gemini: Which is the Best AI Chatbot?

Google Tasks will be accessible from the history icon at the bottom right of your home screen, and will also be accessible on Google Workspace apps and devices. That means if you've added a task from Gmail on your Android phone, you can pick up where you left off on your Chromebook.

These new features will be available on Chromebook Plus devices on the latest Chrome OS version released on May 28, 2024 (or later – depending on your location).

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