Android Police

Chromebooks

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Chrome OS Settings and Shortcuts to appear in launcher alongside Android apps

With Android tablets being... Android tablets, Chromebooks are quickly being adapted to fill the void. On supported devices, they combine the utility of Android apps with the flexibility of an adaptive (and productive) form-factor. The latest tweak, presenting Android-style Settings and Shortcuts apps in the launcher, further affirms the role Google's Chrome OS is set to assume. 

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Chrome OS notification center and system tray are getting merged

Notifications in Chrome OS are currently located in an expandable section highlighted by a bell icon. It's been this way as long as I can remember, but it looks like a change is coming. We recently saw a new system tray quick settings design in the Chrome OS dev channel, which can be enabled with the following flag: #enable-system-tray-unified. That same flag is now responsible for merging the quick settings and notifications together in the canary channel.

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Google Family Link support reintroduces parental controls to Chrome OS

Google Family Link debuted last year as a way for parents to create Google accounts for kids 13 and younger and keep tabs on their usage of Android devices. According to a new Google For Families Help support page, though, the service is now available on Chromebooks as well. That's good news, since Chrome's Supervised Users feature that previously allowed parents to limit their children's access to certain features of Chrome OS was killed off in January.

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Google is working on ‘AltOS’ mode for Pixelbook that could allow it to run Windows

Google’s flagship Pixelbook is one of the finest laptops money can buy, but it’s not an option for those who still don’t consider Chrome OS to be a real operating system. That may soon change thanks to an “AltOS” mode that could allow Pixelbook users to run Windows instead.

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Samsung silently releases updated Chromebook Pro with backlit keyboard

Samsung's high-end Chromebook Pro was one of the better Chromebooks released last year. The 12.3" 2400x1600 display was among the best I'd ever seen in a laptop, and the Core m3 was a more than adequate bump over the ARM-wielding Chromebook Plus. The only real complaints I ever heard or had with the devices were related to the keyboard. Travel was terrible, and it wasn't backlit. Well, Samsung has just fixed one of those problems. 

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Acer Chromebox CXI3 now available for pre-order, starts at $298

For a while, it seemed like Chrome OS desktops were a thing of the past. Seemingly out of nowhere, HP, Acer, and ASUS all announced new Chromeboxes at CES earlier this year. Details were scarce about Acer's CXI3 desktop, but now the full specifications are available. You can now pre-order the machine from TigerDirect and NextWarehouse, starting at $297.99.

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HP's Chromebook x2 is a $600 detachable Chrome OS tablet with a stylus

HP announced a brand-new Chromebook today, the very plainly-named HP Chromebook x2. You wouldn't guess by the branding, but this is the world's first detachable Chrome OS device, and the 12.3" tablet includes the keyboard dock and a stylus in its $599 asking price. Essentially, HP is trying to position this as a more affordable option to an iPad Pro with a keyboard cover and Apple Pencil - though I can't say I'd ever expect creative pros to flock to Chrome OS, even with Android apps on board.

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InBrief
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You can now check the current update states for every Chromebook

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4K Chromebook hardware with codename 'Atlas' emerges

Back in February, a commit to the Chromium Gerrit revealed that "secret" 4K Chromebooks were in the pipeline. The comment attached to the commit, at the time, seemed like just a wink and a nod to the future possibility, but it appears there may be a specific name attached to Chrome OS' 4K future. "Atlas" is the codename for a 4K-equipped board recently discovered in a file on Google's Chromium Git. 

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New Chrome OS quick settings menu takes design cues from Android P

The first developer preview of Android P was released earlier this month, and some of the most noticeable visual changes were to be found in the quick settings panel. Icons are now placed inside circles which are blue if active/on and greyed out if inactive/off. It's too early to say for sure if these changes will remain the same in the final version, but if Chrome OS 67 is anything to go by, they may be pretty much final.

The latest version of Google's desktop, laptop, and now tablet OS introduces a new style for its quick settings panel, and it's clear the design teams within Google are working together to create a unified look.

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