You can now scan documents and shoot videos via the camera on your Chromebook

You can now scan documents and shoot videos via the camera on your Chromebook

Google has been pushing out constant updates to improve the user experience on Chromebooks. Recently, there were reports of upcoming Chromebooks getting an anti-snooping feature and an update for existing Chromebooks that would let you run your phone’s apps briefly. Now, Google is letting Chromebook users take full advantage of the camera on board to perform various tasks like scanning documents, QR codes, and more. If you have a Chromebook, these improvements will basically make your work easier if you’re a student or you attend a lot of classes or meetings online.

Scan Documents and QR Codes

The first new feature coming to the Chromebook’s camera is the ability to scan documents. While this is quite straightforward and could be done earlier by just snapping a picture via the camera, you will now be able to optimize the scan via the in-built camera app to make the document look more legible. Users can capture a document and convert it into a scanned copy either in JPG or PDF format. This feature is available regardless of whether your Chromebook only has a front-facing camera or a rear-facing one.

Chromebook Document scanning

To use this feature, open the camera app and select the new Scan mode. This will trigger a frame that will automatically envelop the edges of the document you want to scan. If the auto-detected edges look fine, you can save the document as it is or edit the edges to suit your preference. The Scan option also gets the ability to scan QR codes natively which can be selected by toggling the scan mode from Document to QR Code.

Personalize Camera Angle

Another new feature added to the Chromebook is the ability to change and play around with various camera angles. This is only available with external cameras. If you’ve connected an external webcam, a new Pan-Tilt-Zoom function allows you to control what you want to see in the frame. If your camera is too wide, you can crop in or if it’s too high, you can tilt it lower. If you want to fit in more people, you can just pan out and fit more elements into the frame.

Chromebook camera angle customization

This too can be customized via the built-in camera app and your preferences will stay uniform throughout the different video conferencing apps that you use.

Videos, Self-timer, and more

Apart from these two highlighting features, there are a few smaller additions too with this new update. Users will now be able to shoot videos via the default camera app using the built-in camera on the Chromebook. Again, this works via both the rear camera (if your Chromebook has one) and the front-facing camera.

There’s also a new self-timer feature to take selfies or group pictures from a distance. This works just the way it does on any camera or smartphone. Just set up the timer for the required duration and it will take a picture at the end of the countdown.

Google has also announced that it’s working on another update that would let you make GIFs directly from the camera app which sounds pretty cool. A feature that’s currently in Beta but will soon be available to everyone is the ability to take pictures via voice commands on Chrome OS.


Google clearly wants to improve the user experience on Chromebooks which will give it a bigger punch in terms of a laptop operating system. These added features are something students and professionals will surely benefit from. The features are rolling out with Chrome OS 96.

About author

Sumukh Rao
Sumukh Rao

A tech fanatic with a hunger for knowledge in the ever-growing field of science and technology. An avid quizzer and a gadget critic who loves simplifying tech for the masses has a keen interest in modding Android devices.