Android and iOS aren't the only mobile operating systems viable today. Last month, Corbin wrote about the PinePhone, a phone that runs Linux and has physical kill switches for privacy-minded people. The PinePhone isn't alone in its use of Linux; Purism's Librem 5 phone runs PureOS, a free, open-source operating system that's not based on Android. But just because phones like the Librem 5 don't run Android natively doesn't mean users have to miss out on the benefits of the Android ecosystem.
While Google Stadia needs nothing but your browser to work, the story is different for GeForce Now. Nvidia would like you to install its dedicated application for its game streaming service on Windows and Mac. But ever since GeForce Now is available on Chromebooks, we know that it's capable of running inside Chrome, and where there's a will, there's a way. By spoofing your browser user agent with an official Google tool, you can use GeForce Now right in Chrome on your PC, Mac, or Linux machine — nothing but an extension required.
Android's potential for customization was seemingly endless when it was first introduced, thanks to its Linux kernel and open-source nature. However, Google has introduced more restrictions over the past few years in the name of privacy and security, making root and other deep modifications difficult or impossible. While I agree that most of the security changes in Android are needed (I really don't need the Facebook app digging through my local files), they do mean you are not in full control of your own device.
Google has been ramping up the Linux environment on Chrome OS lately, with features like microphone support and USB connections. For those of you who spend a lot of time in the command-line Terminal, Chrome OS 84 has updated the app with new themes and customization options.
For more than three years, you've been able to save articles for later via Chrome on iOS. Google never cared to introduce the feature on other platforms, but it looks like that's about to change rather soon. An entry spotted in the Chromium Gerrit (via Techdows) shows that the company is working on bringing a Read Later feature to Chrome OS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Flutter is Google's cross-platform application framework that allows developers to create responsive apps for Android, iOS, and even macOS. The toolset has already been used by countless applications, including the mobile Stadia app, and now Google is teaming up with Ubuntu Linux to bring Flutter apps to desktop Linux.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Chromebooks can now run Linux-based applications, and even though the feature is mostly intended for use by developers, it can also benefit regular Chromebook owners. There are some tasks that websites and Android apps still aren't great at, which is where Linux applications might be able to help.
Chrome OS updates always arrive a little later than Chrome browser updates, but Chrome OS 80 has been cooking in the oven for an especially long period of time — v81 of the browser is due soon. Still, good things come to those who wait, and Chrome OS 80 has a few noteworthy improvements.
PINE64, a company that embraces an open and community-driven platform for hardware and software, has begun shipping its first batch of PinePhones, the $150 "BraveHeart" editions. The PinePhone is a Linux-based and developer-focused smartphone, and the BraveHeart in particular is an early-adopter model for the most dedicated of Linux and open-platform users.