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The best Linux apps for your Chromebook

The best Linux apps for your Chromebook

Chromebooks can now run Linux-based applications, and even though the feature is mostly intended for use by developers, it can also benefit regular Chromebook owners. There are some tasks that websites and Android apps still aren't great at, which is where Linux applications might be able to help.

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6

Ambient mode for Chrome OS to get glanceable weather information

Ambient mode for Chrome OS to get glanceable weather information

Although it still doesn't work yet, settings controlling the long-rumored Ambient Mode for Chromebooks have appeared in the current Chrome OS Canary channel. Controlled by an easily enabled flag, the new options appear in Chrome OS's Personalization menu. At least two different modes are planned: Google Photos and an art gallery.

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21

Chromebooks will now install some web apps from the Play Store, instead of their Android versions

Chromebooks will now install some web apps from the Play Store, instead of their Android versions

Chrome OS can run both web applications and Android apps, but sometimes, the Android app for a service isn't quite as optimized for Chromebooks as the web app equivalent. Google has seemingly realized this, as it is experimenting with a new Play Store feature that installs Progressive Web Apps on Chromebooks instead of the Android app equivalents.

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9

Chrome OS 81 comes with gesture navigation and PIP support (Update: Rollout halted)

Chrome OS 81 comes with gesture navigation and PIP support (Update: Rollout halted)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which already forced some schedule adjustments on Google developers, the company has launched Chrome OS 81 to the stable channel. The latest release packs a new gesture navigation for the tablet mode and adds picture-in-picture support for Android apps. It also shrinks the taskbar ever so slightly to give you more screen real estate.

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12

10 great productivity web apps for your Chromebook and Android phone

10 great productivity web apps for your Chromebook and Android phone

Web apps come in all forms and shapes, but Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are some of the best as they're basically a marriage between native applications and websites. On Chrome OS, they come as close as can be to proper programs, many complete with offline support. If you're used to working with Windows or macOS, PWAs might make it easier for you to get through your workday at home, but you can also use these on any platform to enhance your productivity.

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21

Google Chrome and Chrome OS releases are paused due to coronavirus (Update: Unpaused)

Google Chrome and Chrome OS releases are paused due to coronavirus (Update: Unpaused)

For the past few years, a new Chrome release has occurred every six weeks, with changes coming to Chrome OS shortly afterward. However, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has caused many companies to delay or scale back product releases, and it seems Chrome is no exception.

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7

Google introduces new 'Works with Chromebook' badge for supported accessories

Google introduces new 'Works with Chromebook' badge for supported accessories

Chromebooks generally work with a wide array of keyboards, mice, touchpads, gamepads, flash drives, and other accessories, thanks to the Linux kernel at the core of Chrome OS. However, there are still cases where it's not clear if a certain adapter or other accessory will work with Chromebooks, and that's what Google aims to address.

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11

The Chrome OS Files app is getting a Material Design facelift in version 84

The Chrome OS Files app is getting a Material Design facelift in version 84

Google loves iterating on software design, but it often takes some time for its new ideas to trickle down to all its products. The refreshed Material Design principles visible in applications like Gmail are present in some parts of Chrome OS, but not others. That's changing soon, though, as the operating system's decidedly stale Files browser is getting a refresh.

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8

Chrome OS will soon have an app for managing print jobs

Chrome OS will soon have an app for managing print jobs

Printers are terrible, but in many circumstances, they are a necessary evil — especially in the offices and schools where Chromebooks have a stronghold. Chrome OS has been slowly expanding its support for printing over the past few years, as native printing (without Google Cloud Print) arrived in mid-2017, and last year's Chrome OS 78 update made further improvements. Now Google is preparing another key update: a print manager.

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9

Brydge cancels C-Touch trackpad for Chrome OS

Brydge cancels C-Touch trackpad for Chrome OS

Brydge announced a pair of made-for-Chrome OS accessories, the C-Type keyboard and C-Touch trackpad, forever ago. The keyboard has been available since last May, but the trackpad has been delayed repeatedly. Yesterday, Brydge confirmed that it's nixed its plans to release the pad at all.

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