If you’ve updated to the latest Chrome OS Dev or Beta channels you may have noticed that ‘Settings’ now opens in its own window.
The Settings pane has been freed from the confines of a tab to run independently. The rejig ditches the old left-hand sidebar and its top-level links to ‘History, ‘Extensions’ and an ‘About’ page.
It looks neater, but makes finding the channel switcher harder.
Changing Channel Should Be Hidden
Let me preface this by saying that the decision to make the channel-hopping options less visible is good; it makes sense. Regular users should not be so freely able to click buttons that hose their system.
But what about advanced users? Well, I did say the feature was now hidden, not removed. To get at it you now need to click the version number listed at the bottom of the Settings window:
Click this link and the old ‘About Page’ opens in a fancy new modal pop-over.
From here, you can manually check for new Chrome OS updates, view details of runtime switches, and — importantly for those of you who ride the bleeding edge — change release channel.
To do this, click the ‘more info’ link underneath the ‘Check for and apply updates‘ button. This will show a drop-down list of available channels. Select the one you want, give the nod to any prompts or warnings, and away you go.
It’s a tidy, if not immediately obvious, solution to a problem that did need addressing.
But don’t get too used to it: Chromium developers plan to revamp the options panel entirely, turning it into a packaged app built to Material Design aesthetics.