Earlier this month, Google officially made it possible to run a handful of Android apps on Chrome OS. Hardly a week later, a developer came along and produced a means of running theoretically any Android app within Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Chromebooks). However, the instructions were somewhat intimidating, so then someone else came along and produced an Android app that can take care of those bits for you.
We were all elated when Hangouts finally gained the ability to make direct calls and text messages on Android. But that upgrade also seems to have broken a few features on the desktop (Chrome extension) version of the service: several users started reporting that they couldn't see incoming Google Voice text messages or recorded voicemails on their laptop or desktop computers, starting on September 12th. Good news, everyone: it looks like that problem is solved.
Google has officially made it possible to run Android apps on Chrome OS devices, though the current implementation of this feature is a little underwhelming. First of all, it's limited to only a handful of apps, and second of all, it requires a Chrome OS laptop or desktop, and can't be run in more widely-used operating systems. Now an ambitious developer has managed to overcome both of those limitations, enabling (in theory) any Android app to run anywhere that Chrome does.
The Chrome developers have released a new version of their browser that may not have a particularly exciting changelog, but it does lead to a better browsing experience. Version 36 should make text on those websites that don't have a mobile alternative render somewhat better. This, combined with non-specified performance improvements and bug fixes, should result in more enjoyable browser use.
Text rendering on a non-mobile website using a previous version of Chrome.
Android-powered all-in-one PCs are all the rage... or at least that's what desktop manufacturers are hoping at CES. HP is the latest to enter this particular fray with the Slate21 Pro, an all-in-one design that runs any OS you want, as long as you want Android. The 21.5", 1080p IPS touchscreen hides a respectable NVIDIA Tegra 4 system underneath, with Android 4.3 and access to the Google Play Store.
This model is aimed squarely at businesses for a kiosk environment - think hotel business suites or elementary school computer labs.
We know there are more than a few of you out there who are hooked on PushBullet, the pushing, pulling, syncing, file and information multitool extraordinaire. Until now the app was limited to Android, Chrome, and a more generic web interface (if you can call that limited) but today they've released a Firefox extension, for those users who prefer Mozilla's infinitely extensible web browser. Version 1.0 was uploaded this weekend, ready for testing with the greater PushBullet service.
Few people probably saw this one coming. Microsoft Windows has long faced off with Mac OS X on the desktop, and while only a distinct minority adopted Apple's platform, the conflict has captured the interest of the tech industry for years. Open source advocates have even entertained the idea that Linux desktops would one day topple Microsoft's empire. Far fewer people speculated that it would be a mobile operating system that would start to replace Windows on desktop machines.
Have you ever considered using Android as your desktop OS? According to CNET, Acer wants you to, as it plans to announce a new all-in-one PC that forgoes Microsoft's OS for Google's free offering. The Acer AIO is said to pack a fourth generation Intel Core i5 chip – which is based on the Haswell architecture – so the unit should be pretty powerful and snappy.
The real allure to this new offering, however, isn't what's under the hood – it's the price.
Back at Computex 2012 last year, ASUS showed off an 18" Windows 8 all-in-one desktop that could turn into a gigantic Android tablet simply by sliding the display out of the dock. Questions aside about whether anyone needs or wants an 18" Android tablet, the tech was certainly neat. This isn't a dual-boot situation, but rather two completely concurrent OSes being run on two separate systems in the same device. The whole of the hardware carries an Intel processor and NVIDIA SoC.