Google announced today that Chromebooks will now receive automatic software updates for 10 years after the hardware platform’s release date (the platform in that case is a bit like a car platform). This move will help when it comes to increasing the longevity of those devices.
The company said that users with Chromebooks released in 2021 will get 10 years of automatic updates starting in 2024. If you have a Chromebook that was released before 2021, which is already in use, you will have the option to extend updates to 10 years from the platform’s release after they give their last automatic update.
Google’s definition of a platform is complicated.
“A platform is a series of components that are designed to work together — something a manufacturer selects for any given Chromebook. To ensure compatibility with our updates, we work with all the component manufacturers within a platform (for things like the processor and Wi-Fi) to develop and test the software on every single Chromebook,” it says.
Hopefully, Google will update its support page that lets you check until what date your device will get automatic updates.
In 2020, Google announced eight years of software updates for newer Chromebooks. With the new announcement of 10 years of updates based on the platform release date, some older Chromebooks will get useful software updates for longer.
To improve the battery health of devices, the company said that it will roll out features such as adaptive charging and battery saver mode to “a majority of compatible platforms.”
The company is also rolling out updates that allow technicians and authorized repair centers to repair the devices without a physical USB key to make Chromebooks easier to repair — reducing the resolution for software-based issues by over 50%.
The company has a self-repair program for schools — it provides guides and repair manuals. For recycling, Google pointed to its Maps feature that lets users find recycling centers.
Google’s announcement regarding increasing shelf-life and repairability of Chromebook comes in the same week as Apple announced its initiatives to make carbon-neutral products and ditch leather. Last year, Google partnered with Framework to launch a $999 self-repairable Chromebook.