Picture-in-picture, or PIP, is easy to take for granted when the majority of services and devices have supported it for years. But for those of us using Chromebooks, that's not the case. Hardly any apps or services supported it at all until Google released a Chrome extension last January that allowed you to trigger PIP with a keyboard shortcut. It was a start, but having to activate it manually each time was a pain. Thankfully, PIP will now work as it does on Android if you're using Netflix. Read More
Google has gradually been improving the tablet experience on Chrome OS over the last few months, adding Android 10 inspired gesture navigation back in January. In Chrome OS 81, which has now entered into the Beta channel, Google continues that trend with a redesigned UI for Chrome tabs. Read More
There are many reasons to prefer Chrome OS over other operating systems. It's lightweight, always up to date, and isn't susceptible to traditional viruses. If you've been curious about trying out a Chromebook to replace your current computer, serve as a second computer, or even be your only computer, you should definitely check out this Samsung Chromebook 4 15" for $232.49 ($87.50 off) at Amazon. Read More
The greatest long-term issue with Chromebooks is their fixed lifespan — unlike PCs, where operating system updates are not tied to specific devices, most Chromebooks only get between 5-6 years of updates. It started to look like Google was finally trying to change that last year, when the company gave most Chromebooks another year of software support, and now Google says at least some Chromebooks released this year will get eight years of updates. Read More
Digital assistants are at their best when you don't need to go out of your way to get their help. Google is working on a new feature that'll make its own Assistant much handier in Chrome OS, and you can try it out today on the Canary channel. Read More
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