Google is currently rolling out ChromeOS version M123. This update introduces custom keyboard and mouse shortcuts, plus some improvements for mobile hotspot, app language, and text-to-speech functionality. Users should receive this update over the coming week.

While ChromeOS already has plenty of default keyboard shortcuts, you can now build custom shortcuts that are optimized for your habits or abilities. You may create shortcuts that are easy to perform with one hand, for example, or copy Windows’ shortcuts over to ChromeOS.

Mouse button customization may be even more useful than keyboard shortcuts. If your mouse has a bunch of extra buttons, you can now assign these buttons to some pre-defined actions, such as taking a screenshot or muting your speakers. Previously, extra mouse buttons could be somewhat unpredictable on Chrome OS, though some brands of mice could be customized by using manufacturer-specific software on a PC.

ChromeOS M123 also adds hotspot tethering to 4G LTE Chromebooks. If you’re one of the few people with a cellular Chromebook, other devices can now piggyback off its mobile connection. Google notes that it’s working to expand its carrier offerings in the U.S., so even if this feature is useless to you today, it may prove useful later.

Finally, the new ChromeOS update provides more natural-sounding voices for offline text-to-speech functionality. It also allows you to set per-app language preferences for Android apps—a feature that’s been available on Android, but not ChromeOS, since 2022.

Google’s natural language technology has greatly improved over the last few years, so it’s exciting to see new on-device voice models for ChromeOS. This change is great for kicking back and “reading” a document, and it’s an essential improvement for some visually impaired users.

Note that Google first began testing custom ChromeOS keyboard shortcuts way back in 2021. The feature’s been partially broken and hidden behind flags for some time. I’m not sure why it took Google so long to finalize the feature.

The ChromeOS M123 update is currently rolling out to Chromebook owners. It may take several days for this update to reach your device, and naturally, some devices are ineligible for new updates.

Source: Google