I've been using a Chromebook as my sole productivity machine for about a month now after introducing Chrome OS to my workflow over a year ago. While I've been surprisingly happy with the experience, it took me ages to find the perfect PDF reader to replace the excellent PDF Expert app on macOS. I ended up testing quite a few tools and created a fine selection of solutions that might help you find your preferred workflow for your PDF needs, too.
I personally need a PDF reader to annotate film and TV scripts mostly, but your workflow might differ from mine.
Chrome OS devices also run Android, or at least a big enough chunk of Android's base to get apps running alongside Chrome's browser tabs. But you might not have given much thought to exactly what version of Android your Chromebook uses. After all, it's not immediately relevant for most of a Chrome OS device's functions: that's handled by the larger Chrome OS, which is frequently updated by Google along with the browser.
While it's not the newest Chromebook on the block, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is still one of the best laptops running Google's browser-based OS you can buy today. The cost reflects that too — it rarely drops below its usual $600 price tag, even two years after its initial launch. Today, you can grab a C434 with 8GB of RAM for just $480 from Amazon, the lowest this particular model has ever dropped and an excellent opportunity to finally switch to Chrome OS.
The distinctive blue, red, yellow, and green light bar on the Google-branded Chromebook Pixel laptop and Pixel C tablet was a delightful bit of subtle branding, and it's a shame we haven't seen it on subsequent models like the Pixelbook. But according to a snippet of code spotted in the Chrome repository, it might be coming back on a future Chromebook machine from Lenovo.
Chrome OS is a relatively secure OS, which is one major reason why more businesses are opting for laptops running it. However, a new bug has been spotted that could reveal location history to anyone who has physical access to your Chromebook.
Asus Chromebooks have been a popular choice for buyers thanks to a mix of low price and solid fit and finish. The company's latest model is the Chromebook Flip CM3, also known as the CM3200. It's an ARM-powered convertible laptop, not the detachable, Lenovo Duet-style tablet we were expecting, though that model may come later.
Linux for Chromebooks has come a long way since Google introduced it in Chrome OS 69 a couple of years ago. On supported devices, it opened the door to an extensive library of desktop apps for users, like video editing tools and IDEs. GPU acceleration was an important milestone that made graphic intensive Linux app usable on Chrome OS. This is thanks to Virgil 3D, a component that allows the Linux container to tap into the hardware's GPU. In exciting news shared by Luke Short from VMware, Google is working on adding Vulkan passthrough into Virgil to improve app performance.
Chromebooks are gaining steam all over, recently surpassing Apple computers in total sales. But their bread and butter has been, and remains, the education market, where fleets of cheap, easy-to-service laptops are a godsend for teachers and IT administrators. Today Lenovo is announcing no less than four new Chromebook laptops, all iterations on existing models, and priced between $299 and $429.
It's been a couple of years since the Chrome OS UI got any considerable design updates, some of which were polarizing changes that stirred controversy in the Chromebook community. Google has since been steadily updating its core apps and system UI to a more modern Material Design style, including the new Media app and tablet mode experience that rolled out in the Chrome OS Stable channel this year. If there's one component that still feels out of place, it's the login and lock screen—more specifically, the password field. That's changing soon, though, as Google is experimenting with a refreshed text field to make it look more consistent with other system UI elements.
Live Caption was one of the highlight feature of Android 10 when Google unveiled it at Google I/O 2019. Its ability to generate accurate real-time captions regardless of audio source continues to blow us away — and it works offline, too. Google's Pixel phones were the first to get it, then it followed by expansion to other Android smartphones. Google announced yesterday that Live Caption is available to everyone using Chrome, and with some digging in the Chromium Gerrit, it looks like Chromebooks won't have to wait much longer to get it.