It takes a lot of applications to build an ecosystem. Google has all the essentials down — email, calendar, contacts, productivity applications, and so on — but the company has always struggled with creative tools. Most notably, Google is still lacking a proper video editor for its own operating systems, which is becoming even more of an issue as high-end Chromebooks gain momentum. Read More
Last week in Las Vegas while at CES, I spoke with Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Google's Chrome OS. In a wide-ranging discussion about the Chrome platform and ecosystem, Liu dropped something of a bombshell on me: the Chrome team is working—very possibly in cooperation with Valve—to bring Steam to Chromebooks.
Liu declined to provide a timeline for the project, but did confirm it would be enabled by Chrome OS's Linux compatibility. The Steam client would, presumably, run inside Linux on Chrome—a platform for which it is already available. Liu implied, though would not directly confirm, that Google was working in direct cooperation with Valve on this project. Read More
One of the first articles I wrote here at Android Police was about how Google planned to phase out apps from the Chrome Web Store, believing Progressive Web Apps to be the future. Fast forward three years, and while I'm still hanging around this lovely site, Chrome Web Store apps aren't long for this world. Your extensions are safe, though. Read More
Chrome notifications, while useful for a handful of things such as messaging, are generally just an annoyance — the pop-ups requesting permission to send them are grating in the extreme, and the answer is almost always "no." Google, evidently aware of this, has been flirting with hiding them automatically for a while now, and in Chrome 80, that'll be the default behavior for most users. Read More
Chrome OS may have supported Linux applications since 2018, but it debuted with quite a few limitations. Though GPU acceleration finally started to land for some Chromebooks in the middle of last year, the Linux container still hasn't been able to capture audio input for things like microphones. Or, at least, it couldn't until the feature silently landed with Chrome OS 79. Read More
Nearly ten years ago, Google shipped an unassuming, totally unbranded laptop to a large group of journalists and tech enthusiasts as part of a 60,000 unit pilot program. That laptop was the CR-48, and it was designed to showcase a project Google had been working on internally for well over a year. It was called Chrome OS.
I was among the first of those lucky folks to receive a CR-48, and I used it as much as humanly possible for almost a year. It was kind of the worst: constant crashes, an insanely slow single-core Intel Atom processor, and questionable build quality would make it clear to anyone that it was very much a product built for dogfooding, not as a replacement for your Windows or Mac notebook. Read More
Most Chromebooks produced over the past few years can run Android apps, but there was always one big catch — you couldn't install apps from APK files, only from the Play Store. This could be fixed by placing the Chromebook in Developer Mode, but that means wiping the device and having to press a keyboard shortcut on every boot. Thankfully, this is finally being addressed. Read More
Chrome OS 79 has been pushed to the Stable channel — that sounds technical, but it means the latest version of Chrome OS is now rolling out. This new release includes a tweak to the last version's Virtual Desks feature, better window management for touch controls in Overview mode on some devices, a renamed "Apps" section in Settings with per-app permissions and other options, lockscreen media controls, expanded port support in Linux/Crostini, and Chrome 79's stolen password protection. Read More
Being able to move around information is critical to how many of us get work done, and Google appears to be testing out a new feature in Chrome that aims to improve copy/paste functionality in the popular browser. Dubbed Raw Clipboard Access, its Github page reveals that the new system would allow for a wider range of formats to be copied and pasted. Read More