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
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
Chrome OS is already a lightweight operating system that doesn't need raw horsepower to thrive. Combine it with a market teeming with affordable, decently-specced Chromebooks, and it's hard not to find a machine that works for you. Right now, you can pick up a new Acer Chromebook Spin 15 with either 32GB ($100 off) of storage from Best Buy or 64GB ($150 off) from Office Depot for only $299 each. Read More
Bluetooth has never been one the strong points of Chromebooks, but Google is slowly starting to make that better. The ability to view the battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices was added to Android over two years ago, and now the functionality is (nearly) available on Chrome OS. Read More
A good Chromebook doesn't often come by like this one: the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 might have an unwieldy name, but it has plenty of trimmings to serve as a fairly good computing option for any number of people on your holiday gift list this season. Best of all right now, you can grab one for just $400. Read More
Google's relationship with SD card support on mobile devices has been rocky at best; look no further than the absence of this feature since the very early days of the Nexus series and on every Pixel phone ever made. And while the company has been stepping up in terms of Chrome OS SD card features, there is one persistent glitch we now know how to fix. Read More