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All about Google Chrome & Google Chrome OS
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03 Jun 12 Chrome OS update adds traditional desktop feel


Google’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

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Users and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/279219/chrome-os-update-adds-traditional-desktop-feel

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30 May 12 Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop Feel


Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelGoogle’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelUsers and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelBut dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256514/chrome_os_update_adds_traditional_desktop_feel.html

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30 May 12 Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop Feel


Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelGoogle’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelUsers and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelBut dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256514/chrome_os_update_adds_traditional_desktop_feel.html

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16 Apr 12 Clearing up a few myths about the newly renovated Chrome OS


Acer Chromebooks

Chrome OS is odd. That’s the one thing almost everybody can agree on. Whether Google’s web-centered, Chrome-based notebooks are “odd, but also the future,” or just plain “odd, and probably not for me” is the central point. It doesn’t help that very few people have had a chance to actually use Chrome OS, and that the majority of those who have seem to be tech writers, programmers, IT administrators, or other folks who have reaching, exacting demands of their hardware.

There are public offices, universities, non-profits, and corporations that were given Chromebooks under a test program, but we’ve heard comparatively little from those institutions, other than through the filter of customer testimonials posted by Google. So the greatest public service I can try to provide in this very narrow topic space is to clear up a few ideas about Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and what they are and are not meant to accomplish. I’ve been using Chromebooks since December 2011, when the first reference model Cr-48 notebooks were released.

Now that Google’s released a developer preview of Chrome OS’ almost entirely new look, it feels like a good time to do some QA.

Chrome OS is basically Chrome running full-screen on your system, and nothing else, right?

That was mostly true until recently. Chrome OS had a login screen, a Settings page with more system-wide options, and a few specialty Chrome-OS-focused Chrome apps, but, generally, it was a Chrome window.

But that’s changed with the addition of a new window manager. The focus is still on web-based productivity, specifically Google-based apps, but now one can manage multiple Chrome windows on one screen, create “applications” out of web sites by removing all of the browser controls around them, and use a Windows-style taskbar to manage multiple browser and application windows. There’s even a bit of a Windows-style “Aero Snap” function, where dragging a windows to the left or right borders of the desktop instantly resizes a window to half the screen’s width for side-by-side operation.

But, still, it’s just Chrome, right?

That’s still true. But look at some of the upgrades that Chrome has seen recently that make it a bit more than just a window onto the web:

  • Offline access for Gmail, Docs, and Calendar. There’s full send-and-receive for Gmail, while still read-only for now with Docs and Calendar. But it’s a very helpful start down the HTML5-powered offline realm.

  • Offline access for other Chrome apps, including Scratchpad, which can, oddly enough, save and sync documents to Google Docs.

  • Multiple user profiles, which, you might think, aren’t so handy for a system that requires separate Google sign-ins, but for people with multiple Google accounts, they’re a handy way to avoid account confusion from one window to the next.

  • Tab syncing across computers, so you can pick up immediately on what you had open at work or home when you flip open a Chromebook.

Why would I want a laptop that does less than a Windows or Mac laptop (on which, of course, I could run Chrome)?

Good question–the best one, really. Google’s pitch so far has been one of hassle-free computing. A supremely secure core system, one that doesn’t need anti-virus production, and can easily and quickly be restored to factory condition if something did somehow get through. Automatic updates that don’t bother you, and install quickly whenever you get around to rebooting. Cloud-based documents, settings, and everything else, so you could throw it in a river, and you wouldn’t really lose a thing. No app stores or installer packages, no 32-bit-versus-64-bit questions, and only one folder, really, in which you can store a few necessary downloads.

What makes Chromebooks different from other laptops, hardware-wise?

Hardware-wise, they tout the long battery life (sometimes 8-9 hours, depending on usage, and pitched as an “all-day battery”), the built-in 3G connectivity on some models (likely upgraded to 4G in newer releases), and the relative lightness of the devices. The keyboard, while surprisingly full-sized, tends to draw mixed reactions, depending on what you need underneath your fingers. They have relatively tiny, solid-state hard drives, usually around 16 GB, meant for storing a few downloads, but with the majority of your storage based in the cloud.

Can I get work done on this thing?

The answer here is the same as with an iPad: it depends on what you’re doing for work, and how comfortable you feel working entirely on the web, without much local file access. If you need to create complex spreadsheets and work with them whether or not you have an internet connection, Chromebooks aren’t for you. If you generally work with email, traditional documents, and tend to travel in places with good Wi-Fi or reliable cellular coverage, Chromebooks might work great. If battery life, universal backup, and lightweight portability matter to you, a Chromebook can be a great kind of secondary computer. If raw power, Skype video chats, and development tools are what you need, look elsewhere.

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/268196/clearing-few-myths-about-newly-renovated-chrome-os

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