6 Important Things You Might Not Know About Chrome OS Upgrades

Chrome OS isn’t like other operating systems — and the way it handles upgrades is no exception.  Whether you’re already using Chrome OS or just thinking about giving it a whirl, here are some important things to know and remember.

1. Chrome OS upgrades happen automatically and quietly, with no annoying delays or notifications.

The first rule of Chrome OS upgrades is that your device doesn’t talk about Chrome OS upgrades. Google’s software updates itself automatically in the background while you’re using your Chromebook; the system won’t pester you to reboot or make you wait while it applies new software at startup (with the exception being the very first time you power up and sign into a new Chrome OS device).

2. Chrome OS upgrades arrive every two to three weeks — sometimes even more frequently — regardless of what device you have.

Software updates on Chrome OS are delivered multiple times a month — and since they’re sent to all devices directly from Google, they generally show up for everyone at more or less the same time. Device-makers can’t modify the operating system as they can with Android, so there’s no real variance in the software from one device to the next and thus no need for manufacturers to be involved in the rollout process.

3. You can step up your Chrome OS update schedule and get early access to new features if you want.

Like Google’s Chrome browser, Chrome OS has three different channels from which you can choose: the Stable channel, which provides fully tested and polished software and is the best bet for most users; the Beta channel, which is updated every week or so and sees new features more than a month ahead of their Stable channel release; and the Dev channel, which is often updated multiple times a week and includes cutting-edge stuff that’s still actively being developed (and often rough around the edges or sometimes even completely nonfunctional as a result).

4. You can always find out what’s new in a Chrome OS update — if you know where to look.

Even though Chrome OS itself doesn’t typically jump and shout about incoming upgrades, Google does make detailed info about what’s new readily available for the curious among us. The easiest way to keep tabs on releases is to follow the official Chrome Releases blog.

5. Chrome OS devices don’t receive updates forever, but they do get them for a pretty long time.

Google says all Chrome OS devices now receive regular upgrades for a minimum of six and a half years from when their chipset first appeared on the platform — which usually ends up meaning any given device will be updated for at least five years from its initial sale date. In some cases, the window ends up being even longer.

6. You can check to see how long any Chrome OS device will receive updates right now — or even before you buy it.

Google maintains a Chrome OS end-of-life database that lists out exactly when every Chromebook (and Chromebox) will stop receiving OS updates. It tends to be updated quite quickly as new devices launch — so anytime you’re thinking about buying a Chrome OS product, mosey on over to that page first so you’ll be fully informed about how long it’ll remain current.

The information for this post was taken from an article by JR Raphael in COMPUTERWORLD, follow this link for the complete article and more details.