The Play Store is officially on Chrome OS! Sort of. It’s out for one device - the ASUS Chromebook Flip - and only on the developer release channel, which means bugs. But I’ve been playing with it since last night and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and general experience with Android apps on Chrome as they’ve launched.
First, in response to your inevitable question “Does <app here> work?” let me lay out a simple set of preemptive answers.
- Does it require telephony (SMS/phone)? Then no.
- Does it require GPS? Then no.
- Does it require a rear camera? Then no.
The day has come. Okay, not quite. But you've waited a long time for Android apps to come to Chrome OS. You've left comments. You've replied to comments. You even left more comments. Now your work is being rewarded. As we've all recently heard, Google plans to bring the Play Store to Chromebooks. At Google I/O today, the company has made things official. Read More
Chrome 50 landed this week (though it's still in beta on Android), and Google is celebrating.
How? By highlighting 1 billion active users on mobile, 771 billion pages loaded, 2 million gigabytes of data saved, and other favorable metrics. All of them have been neatly compiled in this lengthy infographic. Read More
I consider myself quite lucky to be able to make a living writing things on the internet because it gives me an outlet for my natural geekery. Even if I had never started crafting snarky blog posts on a daily basis, I suspect many of the things on this list would still be in my office (I guess then I'd call it something else). However, in this version of reality, I'm a professional nerd, and these are the things that I use every day. Read More
Let me get this out of the way right out of the gate: I love Chrome OS. I wanted to love it back when I reviewed the original Chromebook Pixel some years ago, but it just wasn’t where it needed to be for me. Fastforward a bunch of months, and Google made a ton of useful and thoughtful changes that made Chrome OS a legit desktop contender (for me at least). So, like I said in my recent What We Use post, I made the leap to Chrome OS as my main laptop about 18 months ago (or so) and haven’t looked back. Read More
I've long been an advocate for the usefulness of Android tablets, but even I've been questioning my own words over the past year or so. After switching to a Chromebook Flip as my main laptop and tablet, I rarely even use my Android tablets for anything more than reading in bed or playing a quick game.
But deep down I guess I'm a dreamer—I keep hoping Google will step up and make Android tablets not only relevant for more than the "I want a cheap tablet" market, but for power users. People who want to get things done and don't always want to break out a laptop to do it. Read More
Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.
These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction. Read More
Picture this: Someone you know needs help with their Android device. Crazy, I know, but bear with me here. They need help, and no one else can do the job but you.
You could try guiding them over the phone, but doctors have confirmed this as hazardous to your mental health. A better approach would be to send them a link to the TeamViewer app and remote into the device yourself. Thing is, you're using a Chromebook. Yeah, your friends gave you crap when you bought it, but those things have gotten pretty good these days.
Fortunately you're not out of luck. Read More
The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell last week when it reported that Google planned to merge Chrome OS with Android and phase out the Chrome OS we've come to know and love. Googlers (including Android/Chrome head Hiroshi Lockheimer) reiterated the company's commitment to Chrome OS. Now, Google has made a post on the Chrome blog to set the record straight once and for all—Chrome OS isn't going anywhere. Read More
Google hasn't said much about how its new OnHub router works—it's a mysterious black box (blue cylinder, technically) with inactive radios and updatable firmware. The modders from Exploitee.rs have gotten their hands on an OnHub, and it didn't take long for them to root it. Interestingly, they rooted it like a Chromebook because that's sort of what the OnHub is—a Chromebook with no screen acting like a router. Read More