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All about Google Chrome & Google Chrome OS
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29 May 12 Bits Blog: New Google Chrome Aims at Windows 8


The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.

Google just released a new version of its Chrome operating system with fancy tweaks to online computing services like word processing and video — all designed to make it faster, more functional and easier to use.

It’s an open question whether the changes are enough to make Chrome, which is also the name of Google’s browser, more than a marginal player, but the system is impressive, and designed to work seamlessly with Google products like Android phones and the (still-underwhelming) Google Plus social network. It is also clearly pointed at Microsoft, just as Microsoft is preparing to introduce Windows 8, one of the biggest changes to its operating system ever.

The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks that require an Internet connection to obtain access to most applications.

“People participate in ecosystems,” said Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of the Chrome project at Google. “If you are a Chrome browser user, an Android user and a Gmail user, a Chromebook is a more natural experience than a Windows 8.”

Most of Google’s changes will be available to people already using computers running Chrome, since Google can change things online. Some, like hardware-accelerated graphics for faster scrolling, or a better trackpad on the Chrome laptop, require a new machine. The first of these, from Samsung, has also just been announced. It is about the size and weight of a MacBook Air, and starts at $449.

The Air starts at $999, but is a well-regarded and powerful machine that does not require you to be online to use it. Google is making more strides in that direction. In about two more weeks, Mr. Pichai said, you will be able to write offline in Google Docs, or Drive, as it is now called.

“We really wanted to show how productive you could be with this device,” Mr. Pichai said. “By default you will be able to get the last 100 documents you were working on. When you go back online, it will resynch with your files and update everything.” You can also “pin” certain documents, no matter how old, so they are always available.

It is also possible to open and work on anything from Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, without converting it to the Google version of those products.

In order to inspire software developers with what the graphics can do, there is a special hidden feature: press the control, alt and shift buttons together, then the refresh button, and the screen spins, even while playing a video.

There is also a new Samsung desktop, the Chromebox, starting at $329, that could be attractive to schools and businesses looking to provide a lot of people the same kind of machine.

The prices of both new Samsung devices undercut even most low-end tablet and desktop machines.

Previously the desktops and laptops were only sold online, but next month they will also be offered at some Best Buy stores. That could be a big shot in the arm for a machine that has probably sold in the tens of thousands.

Acer also makes Chromebooks, but does yet have machines with the new hardware. Mr. Pichai said other manufacturers, which he did not mention, would be selling their versions of the machine in time for the Christmas season.

Another new Chrome feature, still in beta, enables customers to get access to their PCs and Mac computers remotely. The screen of the remote computer appears on the Chrome machine, and the distant computer can be manipulated from Chrome. The other computer has to be on, though it can be in screensaver mode.

“Companies are excited about Chromebooks, but have legacy applications they want to keep,” Mr. Pichai said. “Now, if you have a legacy Oracle expense app, you can put it somewhere and have it accessible on Chrome.”

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/new-google-chrome-aims-at-windows-8/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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29 May 12 New Google Chrome Aims At Windows 8


The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks.

Google just released a new version of its Chrome operating system with fancy tweaks to online computing services like word processing and video — all designed to make it faster, more functional and easier to use.

It’s an open question whether the changes are enough to make Chrome, which is also the name of Google’s browser, more than a marginal player, but the system is impressive, and designed to work seamlessly with Google products like Android phones and the (still-underwhelming) Google Plus social network. It is also clearly pointed at Microsoft, just as Microsoft is preparing to introduce Windows 8, one of the biggest changes to its operating system ever.

The Chrome operating system is designed for lightweight computers known as Chromebooks that require an Internet connection to obtain access to most applications.

“People participate in ecosystems,” said Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of the Chrome project at Google. “If you are a Chrome browser user, an Android user and a Gmail user, a Chromebook is a more natural experience than a Windows 8.”

Most of Google’s changes will be available to people already using computers running Chrome, since Google can change things online. Some, like hardware-accelerated graphics for faster scrolling, or a better trackpad on the Chrome laptop, require a new machine. The first of these, from Samsung, has also just been announced. It is about the size and weight of a MacBook Air, and starts at $449.

The Air starts at $999, but is a well-regarded and powerful machine that does not require you to be online to use it. Google is making more strides in that direction. In about two more weeks, Mr. Pichai said, you will be able to write offline in Google Docs, or Drive, as it is now called.

“We really wanted to show how productive you could be with this device,” Mr. Pichai said. “By default you will be able to get the last 100 documents you were working on. When you go back online, it will resynch with your files and update everything.” You can also “pin” certain documents, no matter how old, so they are always available.

It is also possible to open and work on anything from Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, without converting it to the Google version of those products.

In order to inspire software developers with what the graphics can do, there is a special hidden feature: press the control, alt and shift buttons together, then the refresh button, and the screen spins, even while playing a video.

There is also a new Samsung desktop, the Chromebox, starting at $329, that could be attractive to schools and businesses looking to provide a lot of people the same kind of machine.

The prices of both new Samsung devices undercut even most low-end tablet and desktop machines.

Previously the desktops and laptops were only sold online, but next month they will also be offered at some Best Buy stores. That could be a big shot in the arm for a machine that has probably sold in the tens of thousands.

Acer also makes Chromebooks, but does yet have machines with the new hardware. Mr. Pichai said other manufacturers, which he did not mention, would be selling their versions of the machine in time for the Christmas season.

Another new Chrome feature, still in beta, enables customers to get access to their PCs and Mac computers remotely. The screen of the remote computer appears on the Chrome machine, and the distant computer can be manipulated from Chrome. The other computer has to be on, though it can be in screensaver mode.

“Companies are excited about Chromebooks, but have legacy applications they want to keep,” Mr. Pichai said. “Now, if you have a legacy Oracle expense app, you can put it somewhere and have it accessible on Chrome.”

Article source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/new-google-chrome-aims-at-windows-8/

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02 May 12 Chrome marketing is exceptional


Love makes the world go round, and, c`mon, who doesn’t love a good relationship story? But love stories aren’t easily told — one reason there are so few classics. But Google has done just that in 90 seconds. Take a moment to watch the embedded video over your morning coffee and bagel, donut or scone and tell me if you agree.

I don’t even recall where I saw the commercial — it was during some program I had recorded then watched on Monday evening. But as I fast-forwarded through the adverts, something about this one caused me to stop. Perhaps it’s subliminally related to the long length, seeing as most TV spots are no longer than 60 seconds. I actually rewound and watched a second time. Now that’s marketing.

Effective advertising is familiar, aspirational and, when about products, shows the benefits. Who can’t relate to unrequited love or desire to make a relationship work. Familiar and aspirational.

Google effectively does something else: Shows the benefits of multiple Google services, not just Chrome. There’s Gmail, in the message Mark sends Jen, and Google Docs in the plaintive request he makes to her. The commercial also shows YouTube, Picasa Web, Google Translate, Google Maps, Google Spreadsheets and Google Plus, which all tidily fit longstanding Chrome marketing tagline: “The web is what you make of it”.

The same can be said about relationships. Love is what you make of it.

This story has no ending. We don’t know if Jen and Mark meet for coffee, or get back together. That’s how it should be. In this case, closure would take a way from the story.

Article source: http://betanews.com/2012/05/02/chrome-marketing-is-exceptional/

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01 May 12 Chrome OS gets first taste of Google Drive integration


When they first first took the wraps off Google Drive, Google had only Android, Windows, and Mac software available for us to sync our files. Chrome OS wouldn’t be far behind, said senior VP Sundar Pichai — and he wasn’t kidding.

Just days later, Google Drive integration surfaced in the Developer channel build of Chrome OS. After an update and a reboot, the file manager finally displayed something other than the Downloads folder. There sits Google Drive, albeit in a very nascent and unfinished state.

My Samsung Chromebook had some trouble pulling up the contents of my Google Drive at first, which appeared to be a conflict with my corporate firewall. As it struggled to connect, I noticed something that made it quite obvious that Google has been working on this type of integration for a while: the loading animation reads Google Docs instead of Google Drive. Once I was connected to my home Wi-Fi network, the Drive tab loaded up just fine.

There’s a long way to go before Drive integration is ready for the Stable channel of Chrome OS, but what’s already there is a very good start. Chrome’s save as dialog can write directly to Google Drive, and it’s easy enough to upload via the file manager — just copy a file from your downloads folder and paste it where you want it to go on Google Drive. Within seconds, it’s up in the cloud and heading for your other Google-synced computers.

Extensions that support saving content to a disk — like media grabbers and downloaders — don’t work too well at this point. Several of the extensions I tried became unresponsive after I’d clicked save, though Webcam Toy was able to capture an image from the Chromebook’s camera and save it directly to Google Drive without issue.

Another feature that isn’t working yet is offline support — but that’s coming, too. Google Docs offline access works just fine on Chrome OS if you’ve got the app installed, so it’s likely just a matter of retooling things — though some controls will need to be added. Now that Google Drive is hoovering up files from Windows and Mac systems and Android devices, Google will need to make sure that we can select individual folders and files to push to our Chromebooks’ minimal internal storage.

With a window manager, taskbar, and flexible access to Google Drive coming together, Chrome OS is steadily evolving into more than just a bootable web browser.


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/news/chrome-os-gets-first-taste-of-google-drive-integration-20120430/

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30 Apr 12 Chrome OS gets first taste of Google Drive integration


When they first first took the wraps off Google Drive, Google had only Android, Windows, and Mac software available for us to sync our files. Chrome OS wouldn’t be far behind, said senior VP Sundar Pichai — and he wasn’t kidding.

Just days later, Google Drive integration surfaced in the Developer channel build of Chrome OS. After an update and a reboot, the file manager finally displayed something other than the Downloads folder. There sits Google Drive, albeit in a very nascent and unfinished state.

My Samsung Chromebook had some trouble pulling up the contents of my Google Drive at first, which appeared to be a conflict with my corporate firewall. As it struggled to connect, I noticed something that made it quite obvious that Google has been working on this type of integration for a while: the loading animation reads Google Docs instead of Google Drive. Once I was connected to my home Wi-Fi network, the Drive tab loaded up just fine.

There’s a long way to go before Drive integration is ready for the Stable channel of Chrome OS, but what’s already there is a very good start. Chrome’s save as dialog can write directly to Google Drive, and it’s easy enough to upload via the file manager — just copy a file from your downloads folder and paste it where you want it to go on Google Drive. Within seconds, it’s up in the cloud and heading for your other Google-synced computers.

Extensions that support saving content to a disk — like media grabbers and downloaders — don’t work too well at this point. Several of the extensions I tried became unresponsive after I’d clicked save, though Webcam Toy was able to capture an image from the Chromebook’s camera and save it directly to Google Drive without issue.

Another feature that isn’t working yet is offline support — but that’s coming, too. Google Docs offline access works just fine on Chrome OS if you’ve got the app installed, so it’s likely just a matter of retooling things — though some controls will need to be added. Now that Google Drive is hoovering up files from Windows and Mac systems and Android devices, Google will need to make sure that we can select individual folders and files to push to our Chromebooks’ minimal internal storage.

With a window manager, taskbar, and flexible access to Google Drive coming together, Chrome OS is steadily evolving into more than just a bootable web browser.


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/news/chrome-os-gets-first-taste-of-google-drive-integration-20120430/

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28 Apr 12 Google Drive’s Six Substantial Slip-ups


The dust on the Drive has settled — Google Drive, that is — and users finally have the chance to play around with the company’s new cloud storage system, one that’s designed to, “work seamlessly with your overall Google experience.”

Seamless, perhaps. But perfect? Google’s arrived a bit late to the cloud storage game and, like a pinch hitter facing a run deficit in the seventh inning, the company needs to knock one out of the park to pull people’s loyalties away from their favorite cloud storage services.

It feels as if general reactions to Google Drive have been good, but not great: That Google’s service is a fine player among its peers, but not noteworthy enough to generate a massive, digital rush to Google’s servers. We’ve rounded up some of the larger criticisms that might be keeping Drive from dominating, all areas that Google could stand to work on if it wants the prettiest cloud in the sky.

 

1. Size

How many of you have ever run out of space on your Gmail account? We’re willing to bet that it’s a rare occurrence for all but the most popular of Gmail users, makes one wonder why Google is so generous with its email capacity (10GB) and so seemingly stingy with its Drive storage (5GB).

“For cheapskates or freebirds like me, you’ll be better off turning to (or remaining with) Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which offers 7GB of free storage; Google Drive offers five. (SugarSync, which I’ve also used, does as well.) Microsoft also gave existing SkyDrive users 25GB of free storage. Google, however, would like you to pay them for the privilege of mining your files,” writes PCMag.com’s Mark Hachman.

 

2. Cross-Platform Support

And the mobile war continues: Google Drive is fully supported on the Android platform with a native application (go figure). Windows, OS X, and Chrome OS systems can all download a dedicated Google Drive app as well — in fact, it’s the only way you can access your cloud. As for iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone owners…

“GDrive, meanwhile, includes an app for Android. Everything else must use a browser to connect to Google Drive, although there are reports that Google will be releasing iOS apps for GDrive at some point. Other mobile devices will have to continue to use their respective browsers, but it’s worth noting that not all browsers will work. According to Google’s information for GDrive, some older versions of Android won’t work with the Drive, even using the browser.” — eWeek’s Wayne Rash

Of course, it would also be nice to be able to edit non-Google-Docs files or move anything around in one’s Google Drive via the corresponding mobile app, but step one is acquiring working mobile apps in the first place.

 

3. Offline Editing

Throw a typical Microsoft Word document into your Google Drive and you’ll be able to edit it online, right? Wrong — you can only view it online. You have to convert the file to a Google Document in order to edit it via Google’s Web app. But here’s the rub: You can’t edit Google Docs in your Drive cloud from an offline computer; you can only view them. For novice cloud users, the relationship between Google Documents and offline documents can be pretty confusing.

“There are a couple of ways to work around this issue. First, you can configure your Google Docs for offline access, and you can use Google Chrome browser extensions to enable you to edit Google Docs files offline. Another solution would be to save the file back to its original format after editing it online so that it will open locally in its native application as mentioned above.

That brings us to the other potential issue–file fidelity. Google has gone to great lengths to maintain formatting when converting from Microsoft Office formats to Google Docs and back again, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. For basic documents that just have text, with maybe some bold, italics, and underlining, or simple bullets, it may not be an issue. However complex documents that include things like a table of contents, footers, headers, and footnotes are likely to get mangled and require a lot of manual repair when switched back to their native format.” — PCWorld’s Tony Bradley.

 

4. File Hosting

“Files hosted publicly in Google Drive should be usable anywhere on the Web.

Anyone can already download the files manually. Google Drive could have a huge advantage over its competitors if you could permalink to those files. If Imgur can host images for other sites, why can’t Google? And Google Drive can understand over 30 file types. Why not PDFs and audio files, too?” — ReadWriteWeb’s Jon Mitchell

Makes sense to us!

 

5. More Security

As Discovery News’ Rob Pegoraro points out, your files within Google Drive are only as secure as your Google password. That’s not only a great plug for enabling two-way authentication on one’s Google Account, but it also highlights a key difference between Google’s cloud service and that of one of the company’s chief cloud rivals.

“Like SkyDrive but unlike Dropbox, [Google Drive] doesn’t encrypt files stored on its servers; you can use third-party tools like the open-source TrueCrypt to scramble files before uploading, but that’s more work,” Pegoraro writes.

That said, Google execs have said that encrypting files on Google’s servers would prevent features like Google Drive’s OCR engine from being able to scan them. Worse, users would also lose out on being able to preview files within Drive’s Web app.

 

6. The Dreaded ToS

Much has been written about Google’s Terms of Service for Drive. But you shouldn’t be as concerned about Google “stealing” your information or displaying your publicly available content in a Google Drive advertisement (or what-have-you). Rather, you should be more annoyed if you’re one of the users ponying up additional cash for expanded Drive storage.

“Google Drive creates a new relationship with users. As a service provider, Google should be my advocate, but a profile of me can be built from my data and sold to advertisers like it is with Gmail. A paid service should exclude users from this.” — InformationWeek’s Dino Londis

 

For more tech tidbits from David Murphy, follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@thedavidmurphy).

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403713,00.asp

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28 Apr 12 Google’s Latest TV Ad: How Chrome Can Help You Get Your Ex Back


Google Chrome Coffee

Do you hate how things ended between you and your ex and are you still trying to get him/her back? Google apparently knows what that feels like and wants you to use Chrome to set things right. Or at least, that’s what it looks like judging from Google’s latest TV commercial for Chrome, which debuted last night.

In this latest ad, Mark (markpotter7@gmail.com) is trying hard to get his ex Jen to go out for coffee with him because he still hates “how things ended” (why they broke up, the ad sadly never tells us). To woo his ex back (or at least convince her to go out for coffee with him), Mark then uses a steady stream of Google Docs spreadsheets, Picasa photos and YouTube videos to make his point.

Google has also released a steady stream of ads for Chrome, Google+ and its other products over the last year or so. Some of them try hard to tug on people’s heartstrings while others feature celebrities like Lady Gaga. Just last December, Google also launched two commercials for Google+ with the Muppets.

What most of these ads have in common, though, is that they don’t focus on technology so much, but what that technology can do for its users. No doubt, that’s a pretty effective advertising technique. Whether Chrome and Google can help you get your ex back, though, is a different question. The ad sadly doesn’t tell us Jen’s response.

Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/25/googles-latest-tv-ad-how-chrome-can-help-you-get-your-ex-back/

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28 Apr 12 Google Drive comes to Chrome OS


Google Drive has come to Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system that arguably needs it more than the average PC.

Google Drive has come to Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system that arguably needs it more than the average PC.

(Credit:
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Google Drive is handy for mobile devices and conventional computers, but it’s just arrived on another class of devices where it’s potentially a lot more transformative: Chrome OS.

Google built Google Drive into the latest developer release of Chrome OS version 20.0.1116.0, said Chrome team member Danielle Drew in a blog post today.

Google Drive synchronizes files across multiple devices and with Google’s own servers; a file copied or saved into the folder on a personal computer or uploaded to the Google Drive Web site is then accessible on other devices. It’s tightly integrated with Google Docs, Google’s online service for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets.

On personal computers, Google Drive or competing services such as Dropbox or SkyDrive can be useful. But on Chrome OS, Google’s browser-based operating system, it’s a big step up. That’s because its file management interface is rudimentary, and when you use it to store files, they aren’t available elsewhere unless you export them somehow — uploading photos to Picasa or e-mailing PDFs to yourself, for example.

With Drive, though, files stored with this supposedly cloud-computing operating system are actually integrated directly with the cloud. You could already get your Google Docs, of course, but now you can see all the other files you’ve stored much more easily. And services like Dropbox don’t work easily on Chrome OS the way they do on Windows or
Mac OS X.

“Think of it as your drive for Chrome OS,” said Scott Johnston, the product manager in charge of Google Drive, in an earlier interview this week. “It’s as if you have a local disk, but it happens to be stored in the cloud.”

That’s potentially important for another reason: unlike even low-end laptops, the Chrome OS laptops Google calls Chromebooks today have only 16GB. That’ll change with later models, said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome and Apps at Google.

But it seems unlikely that it’ll ever match the much larger capacities needed for a less network-centric device, and Pichai said people will keep only what they most need on Chromebooks.

“People will have a way of choosing important files,” Pichai said. “I think of Chromebook as a cache of important data and not all your stuff.”

It’s clearly an early version of Google Drive, though. For example, I couldn’t drag and drop a file in Chrome OS’s download folder into Google Drive, though copy and paste worked to move it. And as with Google Drive in general, I find it slower than Dropbox to synchronize new files across different devices. Reloading the page doesn’t actually fetch updated data, but for me going back to a parent folder then reopening the one I wanted refreshed it.

There were some resizing issues, with thumbnails flowing awkwardly as I shrank the window. And for whatever reason, the thumbnail images were bigger and at least for me more useful using the Web interface rather than the Chrome OS file manager interface.

Those who want to try it out will have to use the developer channel of Chrome OS, which can be choppy going sometimes since it’s got newer features that haven’t been tested as well. To use the file manager interface on Chrome OS, type Ctrl-M.

Chromebooks so far haven’t made much of an impression on an industry fixated more with
tablets, mobile phones, and ever-slimmer Mac laptops. Google is beavering away on the project, though, most recently adding a new, more traditional interface to Chrome OS. That initially was available only for the Acer- and Samsung-built Chromebooks, but now it’s available on Google’s Cr-48 Chromebook prototypes, too.

Google also has said faster Chromebooks are on the way.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-57423364-2/google-drive-comes-to-chrome-os/

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28 Apr 12 Google Drive comes to Chrome OS


Google Drive has come to Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system that arguably needs it more than the average PC.

Google Drive has come to Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system that arguably needs it more than the average PC.

(Credit:
screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Google Drive is handy for mobile devices and conventional computers, but it’s just arrived on another class of devices where it’s potentially a lot more transformative: Chrome OS.

Google built Google Drive into the latest developer release of Chrome OS version 20.0.1116.0, said Chrome team member Danielle Drew in a blog post today.

Google Drive synchronizes files across multiple devices and with Google’s own servers; a file copied or saved into the folder on a personal computer or uploaded to the Google Drive Web site is then accessible on other devices. It’s tightly integrated with Google Docs, Google’s online service for word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets.

On personal computers, Google Drive or competing services such as Dropbox or SkyDrive can be useful. But on Chrome OS, Google’s browser-based operating system, it’s a big step up. That’s because its file management interface is rudimentary, and when you use it to store files, they aren’t available elsewhere unless you export them somehow — uploading photos to Picasa or e-mailing PDFs to yourself, for example.

With Drive, though, files stored with this supposedly cloud-computing operating system are actually integrated directly with the cloud. You could already get your Google Docs, of course, but now you can see all the other files you’ve stored much more easily. And services like Dropbox don’t work easily on Chrome OS the way they do on Windows or
Mac OS X.

“Think of it as your drive for Chrome OS,” said Scott Johnston, the product manager in charge of Google Drive, in an earlier interview this week. “It’s as if you have a local disk, but it happens to be stored in the cloud.”

That’s potentially important for another reason: unlike even low-end laptops, the Chrome OS laptops Google calls Chromebooks today have only 16GB. That’ll change with later models, said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome and Apps at Google.

But it seems unlikely that it’ll ever match the much larger capacities needed for a less network-centric device, and Pichai said people will keep only what they most need on Chromebooks.

“People will have a way of choosing important files,” Pichai said. “I think of Chromebook as a cache of important data and not all your stuff.”

It’s clearly an early version of Google Drive, though. For example, I couldn’t drag and drop a file in Chrome OS’s download folder into Google Drive, though copy and paste worked to move it. And as with Google Drive in general, I find it slower than Dropbox to synchronize new files across different devices. Reloading the page doesn’t actually fetch updated data, but for me going back to a parent folder then reopening the one I wanted refreshed it.

There were some resizing issues, with thumbnails flowing awkwardly as I shrank the window. And for whatever reason, the thumbnail images were bigger and at least for me more useful using the Web interface rather than the Chrome OS file manager interface.

Those who want to try it out will have to use the developer channel of Chrome OS, which can be choppy going sometimes since it’s got newer features that haven’t been tested as well. To use the file manager interface on Chrome OS, type Ctrl-M.

Chromebooks so far haven’t made much of an impression on an industry fixated more with
tablets, mobile phones, and ever-slimmer Mac laptops. Google is beavering away on the project, though, most recently adding a new, more traditional interface to Chrome OS. That initially was available only for the Acer- and Samsung-built Chromebooks, but now it’s available on Google’s Cr-48 Chromebook prototypes, too.

Google also has said faster Chromebooks are on the way.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57423364-93/google-drive-comes-to-chrome-os/?part=rss&subj=software&tag=title

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27 Apr 12 Google Chrome OS: A New Aura


The promise of “cloud computing” is becoming a little more real every day.

 

Earlier this week, computing giant Google announced their cloud services aptly named Google Drive. And now we’re getting a glimpse of development related to another part of the puzzle – Google-branded hardware devices made especially to utilize cloud computing.

 

Google’s Chrome OS, and Chromebook computers which run it, have been with us for awhile now. In the beginning, the Chrome operating system was nothing more than a glorified Web browser with a bunch of downloadable, add-on applet. Those apps let you do a number of computing chores online.

 

Chromebook devices come with little-to-no internal storage. The idea was (and is) to store your stuff (such as Google Docs) in the Google cloud.

 

Google is now busy working to make the Chrome OS more “user friendly” for people who prefer turning on their computers and seeing a home screen with icons. The new software design is called “Aura” and, as you can see above, it sports a very familiar look.

 

Chrome OS still opens the Chrome browser when it first boots-up but there is now a small, semi-transparent box in the upper right-hand corner that, when clicked, opens the new home screen.

 

That new screen shows any home pages you’ve set in the browser as well as any Chrome applets you’ve installed. It also gives the device a much, more modern computing look and feel – almost Windows/Mac/Linux-like – including a somewhat familiar task bar with icons on the bottom of the screen.

 

The new design is only available for those who have set their Chromebooks to the “Developers’” download channel (in Settings). Google warns (and rightly so) that Developer downloads may not be stable as you might like and that you try them at your own risk.

 

Early versions of Aura didn’t work on Google’s original Chromebook hardware (the CR-48) but, as you can see, the latest developer’s version works just fine.  

Article source: http://www.thestreet.com/blog/google-chrome-os-new-aura

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