A couple days ago, the Chrome OS dev channel received an update, bumping the version up to 30.0.1589.4 and bringing with it “several improvements and bug fixes,” which – of course – had no accompanying explanation. However, one of the biggest improvements as pointed about by Google’s own François Beaufort is the ability to quickly downgrade from the dev channel, without having to perform a full system restore with an image that you burn on a USB stick or SD card.
This is actually really huge. Although we knew it was coming, we really had no idea when this feature would actually arrive, so I’m happy to see it now.
Going forward, Chrome OS users now have no valid excuse not to try out all the latest and greatest stuff that happens in the dev channel, because it’s super quick and easy to downgrade back to stable or beta. All you have to do is navigate to chrome://help/ in your omnibar, and click on More info… > Change channel. You’ll receive a message that a powerwash will be required on the next reboot, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most people: since literally everything from your browsing history and passwords to your apps and extension are all synced with Google, powerwashing your device isn’t nearly as problematic as reformatting a traditional Windows or OS X machine. As long as you’re storing everything in the cloud – which you should be, if you’re using Chrome OS – then everything will be restored just as you left it.
You should note, however, that Linux installs using crouton are removed during a powerwash, so if you spent a lot of time setting something like that up, then this solution might not be ideal for you. Power users like this are probably in the minority, though, and already understand the risks that come with the dev channel.
For the rest of us, we can upgrade to dev practically worry free. I know I have, and I’ve never been happier![Google]