There's no denying that the increased performance:power consumption ratio of CPUs has been benefiting laptops and tablets alike of late. Microsoft's Surface Pro series, Apple's new iPad Pro (a product I would also call pretty misguided, to be honest), the new MacBook, and a slew of Chromebooks are all doing things that would have been nigh-unthinkable five years ago in their respective form factors or price points. Also, tablet sales are down and the traditional tablet model doesn't seem to be working so well anymore. So, Google is apparently hip to this now and wants Android to get in on the action with its own mobile-feeling but laptop-grade-ish ultra-portable device. Read More
Is it really an April Fools "prank" if what you put together actually performs its stated function? Either way, you probably won't want to keep the "Self-Browsing Chromebook" app on your machine for more than a day or so. According to Google's straight-faced Chrome Blog entry, the app is intended to automate your entire computer experience. What it actually does is take over your laptop with a full-screen interface that navigates around the web by itself.
And it's not just a random selection of websites loaded one after another. No, the slightly sci-fi app (which, yes, can really be installed on Chrome OS devices) uses its own cursor to select new links and scroll through pages, about one every three seconds. Read More
Along with a fancy new hardware-focused Google Store, there's a shiny new version of the super-premium Chromebook. Google just threw the Chromebook Pixel 2015 up on its page in two models: one with an Intel Core i5 2.2Ghz processor for $999 (considerably less than the original) and one with a 2.4Ghz Core i7 for $1299. Sales appear to be limited to the United States at the moment.
The i5 model is ostensibly the low-end version, but even that is fairly super-powered compared to other Chromebooks. It comes with a 32GB SSD drive for storage and a generous 8GB of RAM - double the original Pixel and twice as much as any current Chromebook on the market. Read More
Update: As it turns out, this offer applies to recently-purchased Chromebook purchases too. If you have not yet claimed your free Google Drive storage, you might want to head over to the goodies page to redeem your 1TB right away.
If you're like me, you keep quite a bit of the files you interact with on your mobile devices saved on Google Drive. The service has gotten spiffier over the years, and Google has done its best to make interacting with the storage feel as though you're tinkering with something saved locally.
When I bought a Chromebook Pixel, it came with 1TB of Google Drive storage for three years. Read More
People are still waiting to get their hands on invites to use Inbox by Gmail, but as those trickle in, Google's pushing out more ways to access to service. We've already provided a hands-on look at the Android app. Users can also interact with their spiffy new inbox in a web browser by heading to inbox.google.com.
For people who prefer a handy shortcut, or for Chromebook users who want something that kind of feels like a dedicated email client, Google has released an Inbox by Gmail app into the Chrome Web Store.
The web app serves as a glorified bookmark, but once opened in its own dedicated window, it could pass for something more. Read More
In a bit of non Android-related news that we just couldn't pass up, Adobe and Google have announced "Project Photoshop Streaming" for Chrome OS, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Adobe is looking to bring access to its
Creative Suite Creative Cloud suite of products to Chromebook users, and the journey begins with Photoshop.
Before you get too excited, there are a few caveats. First, you've got to apply to be a tester. Those eligible to apply are North American Creative Cloud education member, and a member of the Adobe Education Exchange with a paid Creative Cloud membership. You must also be at least 13 years old, and it will take Adobe 3-4 weeks to process your application. Read More
Google Play for Education is an Android thing, not a Chrome thing. But considering the fact that Chromebooks' low prices and web-connected nature make them perfect terminal PCs for schools, it makes a lot of sense to bridge that gap. Today Google has done so, making the Google Play for Education page and app delivery system work for Chrome apps, Play Store books, and other content. It should be a familiar and relatively easy way for teachers and administrators to get things done.
According to the Google Enterprise Blog, the Google Play for Education system will allow teachers to remotely install a Chrome app on an entire classroom of Chromebooks, or just one laptop. Read More
Spectators have long wondered whether/vehemently argued that Android and Chrome OS will merge someday, and while Google hasn't shifted towards turning the two operating systems into one, it has taken advantage of this year's Google I/O to show Android apps running on a Chromebook. The company only demoed a few of them and made no promises of complete compatibility across all apps, but it did show the likes of Evernote and Flipboard running just fine.
The tablet versions of these apps make for a nice experience on a Chromebook's larger display, but there's support for phone-oriented versions as well. Vine opened in a small window similar to Google Keep for Chrome OS, and more impressively, the app was able to tap into the laptop's webcam just as it would on a handset. Read More
In case we didn't make it clear with yesterday's post, we were more than a little miffed at Verizon's dismissal of Chromebook Pixel LTE owners. The company told customers that it had unceremoniously ended Google's free 100MB/month data bundle for the Pixel LTE after just one year, despite the initial two-year service promotion. Today Google is offering a consolation prize to those customers who bought the Chromebook Pixel LTE from the Play Store: a $150 refund credit.
According to ComputerWorld's JR Raphael, who broke the original Verizon-Google story, Google will be sending $150 prepaid VISA cards to customers who bought the $1450 Pixel LTE while the promotion was still being advertised. Read More
Google and Verizon Wireless seem to be in a perpetual state of "it's complicated." The protracted issues with the Nexus 7 LTE, the infamously terrible launch and support of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and a few other spats come to mind. Now JR Raphael of ComputerWorld is reporting that Verizon has unceremoniously dumped the 100MB per month of free packaged wireless data that came with the LTE model of the Chromebook Pixel that went on sale last year. And here's the kicker: they don't really give a shit.
Raphael quotes this thread on Google's official product forums, claiming that customers who have called in to Verizon after their free data was cut off are being told that they'll have to pay from now on. Read More