Chromebooks Will Get Gemini and New Google AI Features

The first notable feature is Help Me Write, which works in any text box. Select text in any text box and right-click—you’ll see a box next to the standard right-click context menu. You can ask Google’s AI to rewrite the selected text, rephrase it in a specific way, or change the tone. I tried to use it on a few sentences in this story but did not like any of the suggestions it gave me, so your mileage may vary. Or maybe I’m a better writer than Google’s AI. Who knows?

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Google’s bringing the same generative AI wallpaper system you’ll find in Android to ChromeOS. You can access this feature in ChromeOS’s wallpaper settings and generate images based on specific parameters. Weirdly, you can create these when you’re in a video-calling app too. You’ll see a menu option next to the system tray whenever the microphone and video camera are being accessed—tap on it and click “Create with AI” and you can generate an image for your video call’s background. I’m not sure why I’d want a background of a “surreal bicycle made of flowers in pink and purple,” but there you go. AI!

Here’s something a little more useful: Magic Editor in Google Photos. Yep, the same feature that debuted in Google’s Pixel 8 smartphones is now available on Chromebook Plus laptops. In the Google Photos app, you can press Edit on a photo and you’ll see the option for Magic Editor. (You’ll need to download more editing tools to get started.) This feature lets you erase unwanted objects in your photos, move a subject to another area of the frame, and fill in the backgrounds of photos. I successfully erased a paint can in the background of a photo of my dog, and it worked pretty quickly.

Then there’s Gemini. It’s available as a stand-alone app, and you can ask it to do pretty much anything. Write a cover letter, break down complex topics, ask for travel tips for a specific country. Just, you know, double-check the results and make sure there aren’t any hallucinations. If you want to tap into Google’s Gemini Advanced model, the company says it is offering 12 months free for new Chromebook Plus owners through the end of the year, so you have some time to redeem that offer. This is technically an upgrade from Google One, and it nets you Gemini for Workspace, 2 terabytes of storage, and a few other perks.