New Chrome OS update makes it easier to check for hardware faults

Chrome logo on a Dell Chromebook

Google has released a diagnostic app for Chrome OS that lets users initiate a scan for hardware faults within a Chromebook.

The app is part of a recent update to Chrome OS that also aims to reduce the number of tabs you open by giving the launcher more instant capabilities.

The diagnostic app will be accessible from the launcher so users can instantly scan various parts of their device for issues. This can be used on their Chromebook's CPU, memory, and battery and give quick insights on what might be slowing their device down.

The Chromebook launcher, which is where users can normally find apps, local files, or Google search, will now also include a calculator, weather updates, stock prices, and even quick word definitions in an attempt to create a single source for all of a Chromebook user's needs.

The new diagnostic app on Chrome OS

For example, if the battery is draining faster than one would normally expect, the app can run a 'discharge test' to see if the hardware is the cause of the problem. The app will also offer up links to relevant support articles and save the test results in a session log that can be shared with customer support teams if the problem is severe enough. There will also be a list of standard troubleshooting advice for more minor faults.

In the coming weeks, Chrome OS will also receive the 'Live Captions' feature that was recently added to the Chrome browser. These are automatic, real-time captions for any media that has audio, and will be an option on "most" Chrome OS devices inside the Accessibility menu.

The updates come as Chromebook sales continue to increase, according to recent Gartner research, which suggests that shipments reached "triple figures" for the first quarter of 2021. This follows on from strong sales in Q4 of 2020, where Canalys suggested demand was "through the roof".

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.