Chromebooks will now warn you when you’re using the wrong USB-C cable

Google’s latest Chromebook update adds a feature that tells you if your USB-C cable has limited functionality, the company announced Friday. USB-C cables can have very diverse capabilities, offering things like different charging speeds and wire-by-wire data transfer, so this new Chromebook feature seems like a useful tool to help troubleshoot. “Eligible Chromebooks will notify you if the USB-C cable you’re using isn’t compatible with the displays or doesn’t work ideally for your laptop,” Google says in a blog post. “You’ll also get a notification if the cable you’re using doesn’t support the high-performance USB4/Thunderbolt 3 standards that your Chromebook supports.” The new feature will first come to Chromebooks with 11th or 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs that support USB4 or Thunderbolt, according to the blog, “with more devices to come.”

This is what one of the notifications will look like. Image: Google Google is well aware of some of the challenges of USB-C cables, with employee Benson Leung making waves with his tests and reviews of USB-C cables, including one that destroyed his Chromebook Pixel. Things have improved since then, but it can still be hard to tell exactly which USB-C cable does what, so this new notification from Google is a welcome addition to its Chromebooks, and unsurprisingly, we have Benson and I to thank. to the rest of the team for that. The new update also includes some more features. Google is updating the split-screen magnifier feature so you can resize the magnified portion of the screen, letting you choose whether to see more or less of the magnified area. Here’s a GIF from Google showing how it works:

The company is also rolling out its cursive writing app to all Chromebooks that support styluses.Update May 27, 3 pm ET: Added a tweet from Benson Leung.