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Your Chromebook can answer simple questions without the browser

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  • Google has released a Chrome OS update that can answer questions from the Launcher.
  • There’s also a troubleshooting app to check your battery, CPU, and memory.
  • You can scan documents directly to your Chromebook, too.

Google is rolling out a Chrome OS update that could make life much easier when you have a quick question for your Chromebook.

A centerpiece feature in the update provides answers to simple questions directly from the Launcher on your Chromebook — you don’t have to open a browser tab or run an app. You can ask your question by tapping the Everything Button and typing in a query, whether it’s a calculation, the weather, or a word definition.

See also: The best Chromebooks for students

The update also helps pinpoint problems with your Chromebook. A Diagnostics app can run tests and otherwise verify the status of your system’s battery, CPU, and memory. If you think the battery might be aging prematurely, for instance, you can check it and save the results for a support session.

Live Captions are finally reaching Chrome OS in the “coming weeks,” Google added. The option provides real-time captioning for audio and video to help if you’re hard of hearing or just need to keep the volume down. You can enable it through the Accessibility section in your Chromebook’s settings.

A final update can help you send important paper documents to your Chromebook. You can now scan items directly from a scanner-equipped printer. You just have to launch a Scan app, pick your settings, and wait for the document to appear in a dedicated Files folder. This doesn’t work with Bluetooth scanners at present, but it’s compatible with both USB and Wi-Fi models.

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