Chromebooks can run Android apps from the Play Store now, and it's ridiculously cool. Well, on one Chromebook, anyway: the ASUS Chromebook Flip. As of Chrome version 53 (currently in the early bird Developer channel) it's the only device that's been updated with the functionality. That's a little odd, since Google promotes plenty of other Chromebook devices via the Google Store, including its own Google-branded Chromebook Pixel machines. Read More
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.
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
Google is getting into the annual celebration of the American consumer, known as Black Friday, with a plethora of deep discounts. I'd love to apply my normal flair and lame jokes to this article, but this is Black Friday and I ain't got no time for that!
So here's the breakdown.
Google keeps giving away freebies to customers who buy its hardware. The latest is a trio of free movies from the Play Store for owners of Chrome OS-powered laptops. It's quite nice, but don't head out to buy a copy of Age of Ultron just yet - you get three movies from a relatively limited selection, and they're only in standard definition. So, nice, but not amazing.
Here's the list, or at least the one that we've seen on our personal accounts in the US. Your results may vary:
- Mission Impossible
- Mission Impossible II
- Mission Impossible III
- Mean Girls
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- Forrest Gump
- The Spongebob Squarepants Movie
- The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
- The Last Airbender
- Charlotte's Web (2006)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
I'm no movie critic, but I'd say that the clear winners among that limited selection are Mission Impossible, Forrest Gump, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. 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
There's no denying that the increased performance:power consumption ratio of CPUs has been benefiting laptops and tablets alike of late. Microsoft's Surface Pro series, Apple's new iPad Pro (a product I would also call pretty misguided, to be honest), the new MacBook, and a slew of Chromebooks are all doing things that would have been nigh-unthinkable five years ago in their respective form factors or price points. Also, tablet sales are down and the traditional tablet model doesn't seem to be working so well anymore. So, Google is apparently hip to this now and wants Android to get in on the action with its own mobile-feeling but laptop-grade-ish ultra-portable device. Read More
Is it really an April Fools "prank" if what you put together actually performs its stated function? Either way, you probably won't want to keep the "Self-Browsing Chromebook" app on your machine for more than a day or so. According to Google's straight-faced Chrome Blog entry, the app is intended to automate your entire computer experience. What it actually does is take over your laptop with a full-screen interface that navigates around the web by itself.
And it's not just a random selection of websites loaded one after another. No, the slightly sci-fi app (which, yes, can really be installed on Chrome OS devices) uses its own cursor to select new links and scroll through pages, about one every three seconds. Read More
Along with a fancy new hardware-focused Google Store, there's a shiny new version of the super-premium Chromebook. Google just threw the Chromebook Pixel 2015 up on its page in two models: one with an Intel Core i5 2.2Ghz processor for $999 (considerably less than the original) and one with a 2.4Ghz Core i7 for $1299. Sales appear to be limited to the United States at the moment.
The i5 model is ostensibly the low-end version, but even that is fairly super-powered compared to other Chromebooks. It comes with a 32GB SSD drive for storage and a generous 8GB of RAM - double the original Pixel and twice as much as any current Chromebook on the market. Read More
Update: As it turns out, this offer applies to recently-purchased Chromebook purchases too. If you have not yet claimed your free Google Drive storage, you might want to head over to the goodies page to redeem your 1TB right away.
If you're like me, you keep quite a bit of the files you interact with on your mobile devices saved on Google Drive. The service has gotten spiffier over the years, and Google has done its best to make interacting with the storage feel as though you're tinkering with something saved locally.
When I bought a Chromebook Pixel, it came with 1TB of Google Drive storage for three years. Read More