In this tech post, I would like to warn you from Chrome OS v75.
Chrome OS v75 is now on Google’s beta channel. Beta channel is kind of “place” where Google puts OS version before it is released, so beta testers will be able to try it and provide feedback.
Well, I’m not 100% sure that Google will eventually release v75 as is to the stable channel (the channel where all production apps are), but if that happens, it might be a huge issue for anyone who uses our digital signage app over Chrome OS.
The issue we have just discovered in Chrome OS v75 is that videos (at least, our MP4 videos) in our signage app, cannot play and they just flicker all over. Looks bad!
So, how can one prevents that? It can easily be prevented, in advance (the sooner, the better). Better do the following already today. If you use the Google Device Management Console to control your Chrome devices, you access the Google Console, go to the kiosk settings (as your apps must be in kiosk mode, in order to play 24/7) and there you should lock the release version to “74.*”. This will prevent any Chrome OS device which has those kiosk settings, from upgrading the OS to v75, when Google (I hope not) releases v75 to the stable channel. By default, without this locking, any Chrome OS will automatically upgrade its operating system version every time Google releases a new version to the stable channel. So, beware!
How to lock the OS version in the Google Console?
- Access the Google Console (you can do that from your Gmail by clicking the 3 x 3 dots icon in the top right corner of the screen and there, when the dropdown icon menu opens, choose the “Admin” icon).
- Click on the “Device management” rubric.
- Click on the “Chrome devices” rubric.
- Click on the 3 dots link in the top right corner of the screen. This should open a small dropdown settings menu, from within, you should choose “Chrome Kiosk device settings”.
- If you never created an OU (organizational unit), then you will see the kiosk settings right in the center. If you did created, then you need to choose the OU in the left pane in the organization hierarchy tree. This will open the kiosk settings for that OU.
- Once you have the kiosk settings in the main pane, scroll down to the “Device Update Settings” block of settings.
- Make sure the “Release Channel” setting is set to “Move to Stable Channel”.
- Click the dropdown list of the setting called “Restrict Google Chrome version to at most” to “74.*”.
- Click the “Save” link in the bottom right corner to save the kiosk settings. That’s it.
If you do not use the Google Device Management Console, but just a non-managed kiosk mode, then your Chrome OS version will auto upgrade itself. So, the only thing to do here is to enroll your ChromeOS devices into Google Console as soon as possible and make sure you locked the OS version beforehand.
Update from 18-Sep-2019: It seems that Chrome OS versions 76, 77 and 78 also have the very same issue – which will probably won’t be fixed by Google. Our engineers are trying to find a workaround for this and will update soon, here.
Let’s cross fingers.