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Chrome OS

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Chromebooks and Chrome tablets will get an option to show the tablet-optimized version of a website

Viewing the full web is one of the great parts of using a Chromebook, but sometimes the full web doesn't feel quite so full - especially if you're exploring it with a touchscreen. Much of the internet remains poorly-optimized for touch, and desktop websites are still, first and foremost, designed for point-and-click experiences. With the launch of the Pixel Slate, Google's senior product manager for Chrome OS, Kan Liu, confirmed to me in an interview that the company is aware that not all websites are going to be a great fit for a touchscreen. To address that, an upcoming release of Chrome OS for tablets and touch-enabled Chromebooks will add the option to render the mobile version of a webpage.

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Chrome OS will get virtual desktop (workspace) support... eventually

In the lead-up to our Pixel Slate not-review, I had a chance to interview the senior product manager for Chrome OS at Google, Kan Liu. We talked about the larger tablet experience on Chrome OS and where the operating system was headed, when at one point I brought up the question of virtual desktops (also known as workspaces). Liu was aware of Chrome's shortcomings in that respect, and while I acknowledged that the expose feature allows users to keep multiple windows available to them with their preferred tabs open, it's not a direct replacement for virtual desktops, something other operating systems like Mac OS and Windows have long supported.

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Google Duo seems to now work on all Chromebooks

Google's Duo video chat app was initially only available for phones, since it was tied to a person's phone number (much like WhatsApp). The ability to link a Duo number with a Google account arrived earlier this year, which enabled Duo to work on multiple devices — including tablets. For unknown reasons, Google only allowed a certain number of Chromebooks to install Duo from the Play Store, but now that limitation seems to have been removed.

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Google Family Link comes to Chromebooks on beta channel with new features in tow

Chrome OS users who rely on Family Link to manage their kids' computer habits just got a slew of new features, thanks to the Chrome OS 71 Beta.

Now, parents can manage a curated list of websites they've greenlit for their kids to use and approve apps downloaded via the Google Play store. Family Link also allows parents to hide specific apps already installed and manage in-app purchases for those already on the Chromebook.

Family Link also now offers specialized activity reports that track how much time is spent on individual apps. Some, like music players and messaging apps that tend to run in the background, won't be tracked as closely with the weekly or monthly report options.

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Gboard now works in Chrome OS dev channel (v72) with Android 9 Pie support

Chrome OS version 72 is rolling out the developer channel right now, and with comes support for Android 9 Pie. With the updated runtime, it also means that Android keyboard apps can now be run on a Chromebook, including Gboard.

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InBrief
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CrossOver for Chrome OS adds support for Quicken 2018 and Chromeboxes

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What the Chromebook needs before it's going to be considered a real computer [Opinion]

I love Chrome OS. I use it every day, for nearly everything. But that’s the problem—it can only do so much. Everything else it can’t do has to be done on another computer, with another platform because the Chromebook doesn’t run the full suite of apps that I need to be consistently productive.

It isn’t just for my line of work. With the Pixel Slate running Chrome OS launching soon and poised to compete against the Microsoft Surface Pro and other related hardware, it’s a wonder if it can replace the full-throttle laptops that working professionals and creatives have long relied on.

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Android Studio will soon be officially supported on Chrome OS

For years, it was rumored that Android Studio would eventually be supported on Chrome OS. It's now possible to run the IDE on Chromebooks through Linux app support, which was announced at I/O earlier this year and began to roll out in the stable Chrome OS channel in September. Android Studio mostly works on Chrome OS already, but Google is making it official.

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The best Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chrome OS tablets you can buy right now (Winter 2018)

Chromebooks have come a long way from the original CR-48, and for many, a complete workflow is now possible in the confines of Chrome OS thanks to the addition of Android and Linux application support. But there are quite a lot out there to choose from, and some are better options than others. For your convenience, we've put together a small list of some of our favorite picks, categorized based on your primary consideration.

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Chrome OS 70 rolling out with UI tweaks, floating keyboard, and app shortcuts

Chrome 70 was released on desktop platforms and Android earlier this month. Now it's time for Chromebooks to get the update, with a few added enhancements — like a new UI geared at tablet use and support for Android app shortcuts.

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