Chrome 21 has finally made its way to the Chrome OS stable channel which means Chromebook and Chromebox users get a bunch of new features. The recently introduced app list has gotten a revamp, better Google Drive integration and the ability to select custom wallpapers.
The big design change in the latest Chrome OS update is the new app list. The feature was introduced alongside the new Aura desktop. However, initially, the app list would cover everything else on the screen while you picked the app you wanted.
Now, the app list is displayed alongside the browser or desktop and is much more compact. This also means you can use it without interrupting your workflow and your browsing.
There's now also a search box at the top of the app list overlay which works exactly like the omnibox, which means you can use it to search through your apps, your bookmarks but also the web at large.
The Aura desktop came with a rather novel option for Chrome OS users, wallpapers. The built-in wallpapers are gorgeous, but you can get tired of them. Thankfully, there's now the option of using a custom wallpaper to make your Chromebook your own.
Also new is Google Drive integration, essentially Drive has now become the storage medium for Chromebooks, there's no distinction between local files and Drive.
Speaking of Google Drive, there's a new version of the Google Docs app which works offline. Offline mode was already available, but it's now the default. This means that working on documents doesn't have to stop if you don't have an internet connection, a big limitation of Chrome OS, as a concept.
Under the hood, the latest Chrome OS comes with support for USB audio devices, so you can finally plug in your mobile high quality audio card into your Chromebook, a nice boon for those that are a bit more discerning when it comes to sound quality. HDMI audio is now supported as well.