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chrome os

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System-level dictation is coming to Chrome OS as an accessibility feature

Lately, our dear leader Artem has been preaching the usefulness of Google Docs' dictation feature, which allows you to transform your speech into words. However, to use it, he's had to constantly have a Google Doc open. But according to a code change request, Chrome OS will soon have this functionality built into the system as an accessibility feature. (Too bad Artem doesn't often use a Chromebook.)

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Chrome OS Canary channel now has keyboard shortcuts for moving windows between monitors

One of the most popular arguments against Chromebooks is a criticism against productivity. Many argue that the operating system precludes a reasonable workflow, and in some cases that's true. If you absolutely require specific applications, you're unarguably stuck on whatever platform those programs support. But if you can find sites or Android apps that can replace the tools you need, now juggling those windows in a multi-monitor workflow will be that much easier, as the current Canary channel now has support for keyboard shortcuts to move windows between monitors. 

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Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Chromebook, Acer Chromebook 11, and three others receive Android app support

It has been a slow journey, but Google has been hard at work giving more Chromebooks access to Android app support. The Play Store arrived on 17 more Chromebooks last month, and now Google has added a few more to the growing list.

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[Update: Now in Dev channel as flag] Google adds split-screen snapping to Chrome OS tablet mode

Over the past year or two, we've seen a rise of 2-in-1 Chromebooks like the ASUS Flip lineup and Samsung's Chromebook Plus/Pro. But using Chrome OS in tablet mode is still rough around the edges. Now Google is trying to change that, with the introduction of split-screen windows in tablet mode.

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CrossOver for Android and Chrome OS enters open beta

CrossOver by CodeWeavers has been available for Mac and Linux for years, allowing users of those operating systems to run some Windows programs without a copy of Windows. It does this by utilizing Wine, an open-source Windows compatibility layer for Unix-based operating systems (CodeWeavers is one of the main contributors to Wine's codebase).

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Chrome OS 62 now rolling out, includes file manager improvements and KRACK fixes

Version 62 of the Chrome browser was released a week ago, and Chrome OS updates usually follow closely behind. Chrome OS 62 has started rolling out to Chromebooks, featuring improvements to the file manager, a new design for Chrome OS notifications, fixes for the KRACK vulnerability, and more.

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Acer Chromebook 15, HP Chromebook 11 G5, and 15 others now fully support the Play Store

Earlier this year, Google announced that all Chromebooks shipped in 2017 and beyond would support the Play Store. Some models have shipped with the feature already enabled, while others took a few months after launch to get everything working. At the same time, Google has been working to backport the Play Store to older Chromebooks.

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Acer's Chromebook 15 (CB515-1HT) is now available for $399

In Chromebook land, a lot of the focus is on Google's recently-announced (and expensive) Pixelbook. But for those of you who cannot stomach the $999 starting point of Google's latest, then you might want to consider what Acer has on offer. The new Chromebook 15, model number CB515-1HT, is now up for sale via Best Buy and Acer's store for $399.

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Google is working on a Chrome OS emulator for the Android SDK

As more and more Chromebooks support running Android apps, it's becoming more important than ever to make sure developers create Chromebook-friendly apps. Google offers extensive documentation to help developers, but there was no way to test these apps without buying a real Chromebook. Thankfully, that could change soon, as recent code commits indicate a Chrome OS emulator will be arriving soon in the Android SDK.

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