When Google first announced its plans to offer a lightweight, browser-like operating system, pundits had a field day. Why go up against Windows? Why not use Android? Fast-forward to today, and you'll find that sales of inexpensive Chromebooks are climbing faster than almost anyone expected, particularly in schools. It makes sense, of course – why should a school spend twice as much on a Windows machine when a cheap Chromebook can get the job done?
For personal use, Windows notebooks and Apple's MacBook laptops are seen by many as the obvious choice over Chromebooks because they are so much more powerful and flexible. As it turns out, however, Chromebooks' biggest weakness might also be their greatest strength.
Things have gotten to the point where many Internet users are starting to assume that almost every website on the Net is spying on them or tracking them in some way. And the sad reality is in most cases, they're correct — nearly all websites people might visit contain some code that is intended to monitor, track or even "spy" on users. So for the privacy conscious among us, is there anything we can do to stop the madness?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Google is making its Chrome OS work a little better with Android devices. One of the features demonstrated at the I/O conference shows how an Android device could be used to unlock a Chrome OS laptop. Moreover, notifications that pop up on either device will now show up on the other, so you don’t have to go back and forth.
These minor tweaks are part of Google’s strategy to bring the two platforms closer. As part of the plan, Chrome OS will be able to work better with Android apps, and even allow users to start some of them right from the Chrome launcher. At its own show, Google highlighted few examples such as Evernote, Vine, and Flipboard, though it’s still unclear how developers will be able to take advantage of this capability.
The ultimate goal, if you ask me, would be to enable Android device owners to dock their smartphones and tablets in a move that would transform them into Chrome OS-based computers. I can’t help but think of Asus PadFone, which I see as an ideal device for something like this.
Google, of course, is not the only company looking into the whole convergence “thing.” Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the next version of its OS X platform called Yosemite, which too will bring notifications from iOS devices to the big screen. Meanwhile, we’re sure Microsoft is also working on “One Windows” that would work across platforms; and let’s not forget Canonical which will likely be the first player with a truly converged OS – Ubuntu.
[Image from TrustedReviews.com]
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Which is better, huddling around a 5-inch screen or a 50-inch TV? Google is making that answer a lot easier with a few upgrades to its HDMI dongle. Chromecast can mirror your device's screen to the flat-panel in your living room. The stage demo included using Google Earth and even Android's video camera app. Even more than that, the HDMI dongle is getting a little more personalized too. You know those pretty-looking images that populate your TV screen when you're using the device? You'll soon be able to customize the images of that ambient feed (seen when idle) with your own personal Google+ photo albums.
Acer is seemingly preparing to launch a unique Chromebook, one that would get its power from NVIDIA’s powerful Tegra K1 chip. While that SoC can “handle” the Unreal graphics, we’re not sure how well it’s suited for “regular” computing. Don’t get me wrong, I think NVIDIA has came up with a great product, I’m just not sure whether Chrome OS will find way to take advantage of that 192-core graphics unit.
Aside from rocking such gaming-friendly SoC, the forthcoming Acer Chromebook CB5 will also ship with 4GB of RAM, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, 32GB of internal storage, built-in webcam and a full-sized HDMI out port.
The device, in case you wonder, was briefly caught at the Swedish retailer Komplett.se only to be promptly hidden from prying eyes. The same page revealed the August 1st as a launch date.
As you may know, this isn’t the first Chromebook that uses ARM-based SoC; Samsung and HP both had few models rocking Samsung’s Exynos Duo and Exynoc Octa chips.
Google’s free Chrome for iOS browser is one of a few dozen popular iPhone and iPad applications that crash or refuse to work properly on iOS 8. And although the second beta of iOS 8 claims improved compatibility with third-party software such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Chrome still wouldn’t work reliably.
Chromecast users have been able to throw live YouTube broadcasts to Google's streaming stick via their PCs for a bit now, but the search giant recently added a perhaps more convenient way to do that task. Now, you can use your mobile device to push as-they're-happening videos to your flat-screen via Mountain View's HDMI dongle. Pretty neat, right? Google tells us that while the Google+ post is the first time its spoken publicly about the new mobile feature, the functionality soft-launched "a little while ago." The ability could come in handy if you'd like to tune into live-broadcasts via PlayStation 4 this fall, or, in the more immediate future, you can rage along to this year's Electric Daisy Carnival live from Las Vegas. And before you ask, the answer is most definitely no, you don't have enough glow-in-the-dark headbands for Paper Diamond's set at the Sin City EDM festival.
Source: Google Chrome (Google +)
It has been a long time coming, and now it has finally happened: Microsoft's Internet Explorer is no longer the most widely used web browser in the United States. According to the latest Adobe Digital Index for the month of April, Google's Chrome browser has unseated Internet Explorer in the U.S., accounting for 31.8% of all web browser usage during the month. Adobe's data shows that Internet Explorer's browser share was 30.9% in April.
Hey Google, it’s time to launch the Chromebook Pixel 2! We need an updated version with a Haswell chip that would provide us with improved battery life. Moreover, we need the next Chromebook to be lighter and, if possible, be available in multiple variants.
You see Google, not all of us need a touchscreen. If you offer a more affordable model without a touchscreen, I’m sure you would find even more buyers. Similarly, crazy screen resolutions are nice, but a regular full HD variant could push the price south, and again – help you sell more units.
Now, I understand that the Pixel was more of a concept device, but still… I see no reason why you would avoid launching a successor.
Let’s face it – most (if not all) Chromebooks suck, big time. I do understand that the idea is to make affordable laptops for students, but… I’m sure there’s room for a $500-$700 laptop that would have decent specs and a body made out of metal. Plus, it could be lighter. Why not opt for the Ultrabook platform?
And while we’re at it – it’s time to make the original Chromebook more affordable. The current price is crazy.