Your Chromebook is no ordinary PC: it's powered by Google's Chrome browser, providing a speedy, simple, and secure online experience. It's precisely this reason that Chrome launches automatically whenever you sign back in — there's no better way to showcase your Chromebook's strength than by putting the browser front and center. However, some people just prefer starting with a blank desktop instead, whether they want to use other apps instead, or for minimalism reasons. With the help of a hidden switch in the newest Chrome OS 92 update, you can stop your Chromebook from opening Chrome when you sign in.
Chrome OS 92 has finally rolled out to Chromebooks following a week's delay, and it's packed with goodies like a brand new emoji picker and a clipboard manager for tablets. We've been digging into the new update and pulling up even more features that should help you get the most out of your Chromebook. Here are a few advantageous but experimental features we've found that you can take advantage of today.
You might not be familiar with the name Data Restore Tool, but odds are most of our readers have actually seen the app in action before — if not when setting up a new phone for the first time, then occasionally as an aside in our coverage when we cover the topic. It's preinstalled on many (I'd hazard to say most) recent Android phones and handles part of the process that migrates data between your old phone and new one. And almost immediately after teasing a whole new simplified backups system, now Google is bringing the app to the Play Store, and teardowns provide a partial explanation: Google's making a "Switch to Android" iOS app it will work with.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The imaginatively named Files by Google app has come a long way since its debut as Files Go in 2017. Google has steadily added additional features and functionality, and the app became the default file manager in Android 11 earlier this year. Now it's starting to pick up another new feature — one that will save you from losing important files if you accidentally hit the delete button.
Android’s built-in backup system has improved immensely over the years, but it still falls short in a number of key areas, leading to much frustration for users. Its shortcomings are even more apparent when compared with Apple’s iCloud backup for iPhones, which — while not perfect — is better at copying over app data so users don’t have to spend hours setting up a new phone.
Much of the world has moved on from SMS, but it's still one of the most popular methods of sending messages in the US. It's an unfortunate requirement here for many, and it probably will be until RCS gets off the ground. And if you're the data-hoarding type, then you might want to keep those SMS messages around for later reference — either in cold storage or an easily accessed format.
The recent addition of Linux app support to Chromebooks has made the laptops much more useful, especially in the eyes of developers. However, if you needed to wipe or upgrade your Chromebook, there wasn't an easy way to keep your Linux data. Previous code commits hinted at the ability to back up and restore the Linux container, and now that functionality has arrived in the Dev Channel.
Changing to a new phone can be a hassle; it's especially annoying for those of us who have to do it often. Thankfully, many OEMs include a proprietary data transfer app to help you through the process. OnePlus has the Switch app, and it's just been updated with support for moving from an iPhone.
SMS Backup & Restore is a well-known app in these parts, especially among those of us that have to (or choose to) swap devices frequently. Just last year, the app was picked up by Carbonite, and with the purchase came a nice visual overhaul. But now it appears that Carbonite had decided to hand the app off of SyncTech, an Australian company.
Backing up and restoring data is something that Android hasn't always handled so well, but it's got a lot better in recent versions. Since Marshmallow, automatic app data backups have made switching between phones a whole lot easier, bringing all your apps and settings with you. This means that you can set up a new device and have it look identical to your old one, without having to go through the agony setting everything up again.
What hasn't been possible, though, is restoring data to a device after the initial setup is complete. That appears to have changed with the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview, and also in 8.0 on the new Pixels, which share a bunch of features with the 8.1 build you'll get on OG Pixels and Nexuses.