Google had originally pegged December 2010 for the first release of Chrome OS, but it’s been looking like a fall release is now a safe bet. It’s certainly netbook-ready at this point, though some missing features (like an on-screen keyboard) may mean that tablet devices arrive slightly later.
Developers keep plugging ahead, however, and continue to work on tablet-friendly features. Two code revisions have landed in the past couple days which will definitely make Chrome more at home on tablets. The first is device orientation support (think auto-rotating content on your Chrome OS tablet and accelerometer-enabled games) and the other is speech input (hello, voice commands!).
Both features have been part of the Chromium code for a while now, but they’re now enabled by default and it’s typically a very short amount of time between a new Chromium feature being defaulted and its arrival in the official Google Chrome builds. It’s also worth noting that voice input support is only on by default for Chromium’s Windows users — Mac and Linux users would need to add the ?–enable-speech-input switch to their shortcut for the time being.
Developer Jeremy Selier has posted a simple-yet-cool demo video of device orientation using his Macbook Pro — check it out after the break!