Category: Chrome OS

Chrome OS An Option for Toontastic 3D Android App Install

Earlier today, Google launched a new app aimed at helping youngsters be creative.  The new Toontastic 3D app looks like a lot of fun and it allows kids (and adults) to create stories and turn them into 3D cartoons.  You can read more about it here but if you have creative young people in the house, it’s worth a look.  But that’s not really the point of this article.  It is the install options for Toontastic 3D.  If you go to the site and click the “get the app” link, you will get a splash screen with links to the Play Store and iTunes Store.  No biggie right?  Read the test of that splash screen.

Download Toontastic 3D for your tablet, phone, or Chromebook

So we all know that Android apps are coming to Chrome OS and this, as far as I am aware, is the first genuine advert that a Chromebook, i.e. Chrome OS, is an install option.

Chrome OS Could Be Running Nougat 7.1 in 2017

Chrome OS is still in the process of having Android apps rolled out to various Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, but that doesn’t mean further improvements are coming.  According to a post on ChromeUnboxed, it looks like Android Nougat 7.1 support will be coming at some point in 2017.  Currently, Chrome OS devices that can run Android apps are running them based on the Android Marshmallow 6.0 API set.  For most of us, that’s fine.  There is however one big bonus to having things move over to Nougat:  Multi-Window support.

Right now if you run an Android app on your Chromebook, only one app at a time can be displayed, just like it was on your Android phone running Marshmallow.  With Nougat, the ability to show multiple apps and resize those windows comes into play and that could be a real game changer.  Along with this comes true multi-tasking too.

Minor Update Comes to Chrome OS

A small security update has been released by the Chrome OS team for all devices running the platform.  The update is 55.0.2883.105 (Platform version: 8872.76.0) for those keeping score at home.  There are not many details in the release notes about the update other than the customary bug and security fixes that come with all updates to the platform.  Still, if you are running a Chromebook or Chromebox, get the update so you have the latest and greatest (and safest) version.

All devices will have the update pushed to them over the course of the next few days but if you want to force the issue now, you can do so by going to chrome://help on your Chromebook and tapping the Check for update button.  This will download the update and after a reboot you will be running the new build.

Chrome OS Update Available for Most Devices

The Chromium team at Google has rolled out a new update to Chrome OS in the Stable channel.  The updated build is 55.0.2883.87 (Platform version: 8872.70.0 or 8872.70.1) and is available now on eligible devices.  The update, however, is not available for the following Chromebooks:

  • HP Chromebook 11 1100-1199 / HP Chromebook 11 G1
  • Samsung Chromebook 2 11″
  • HP Chromebook 14

If you have one of these devices, an update is likely going to be coming your way in a few weeks.

As with all Chrome OS updates, this one includes a number of bug fixes and security improvements but also has a number of new features too.

Chrome OS Update Rolling Out

The Chrome OS team has pushed out a small but important update out for the platform.  Build 54.0.2840.101 (Platform version: 8743.85.0) is available for all devices running the OS and should be hitting your Chromebook or other device over the course of the next few days.  You can, of course, always force the issue by typing in chrome://help in the browser bar and it will automatically go and look for the update for you.

As is very often the case, the Chromium team did not disclose exactly what was addressed or fixed in this update to the platform.  They usually limit the amount of information released to assure that hackers don’t know about it and exploit it until a large swath of devices are updated.  In this case, no information was released.  That either means this was truly a minor update and there was nothing worth mentioning or there was a major flaw and they will be mum about it until updates are complete.  Given that there is no indication further notes will be released later, I tend to think it is the former.

Chrome OS Stable Channel Sees a Minor Update

The Chromium team has released a minor update to Chrome OS for the majority of devices today.  The update takes the build version up to 54.0.2840.93 (Platform version: 8743.83.0) for those keeping score at home.  If you remember, the first major build of the 54 train was released a couple of weeks ago.  This update is much smaller and generally addresses some security fixes which Google did not disclose the full details of in the release.

The update however is not for all devices.  If you have a HP Chromebook 13 G1, Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and Thinkpad 13 Chromebook then the update will not be coming to your devices – not yet at least.  If you remember, these are the same models that didn’t get the original 54 train so it stands to reason on why this minor update didn’t touch these devices as well.

Chrome OS Build 54 Released With Many Improvements

The Chrome team has dropped Build 54 of Chrome OS today, bringing with it several improvements and enhancements to the Operating System.  The new build is 54.0.2840.79 (Platform version: 8743.76.0) and available to the majority of devices out in the market.  The only devices it is not available for currently are the HP Chromebook 13 G1, Acer Chromebook 14 for Work and Thinkpad 13 Chromebook.  If you have one of these devices, you’ll have to wait until the update is made available later.

This update brings a lot of new features and improvements, particularly around UI elements.  The highligh of this is the new Alt-Tab feature which improves switching between windows.

Chrome OS Sees Android Apps Hit The Stable Channel

The good news is that the Chromium team has released into the stable channel a build of Chrome OS that supports Android apps.  The bad news is that, for now, it is only for two devices.  We have been waiting for months now for the release to happen and technically the support of Android apps is still in beta, but it is finally to the production build of the OS for users and that is a great sign of things to come.

Officially the build is 53.0.2785.129 (Platform version: 8530.90.0) and it is available for the Acer Chromebook R11 and the Asus Chromebook Flip.  Readers may recall that these two devices along with the Chromebook Pixel 2015 from Google have had the ability to run Android apps for a while in the beta channel.  Essentially this update brings the support to all users with these devices.

The Bright Future That Awaits Chrome OS

I will start this post by being transparent:  I am a big fan of Chrome OS.  I more-or-less made the move to Chrome OS about this time last year and frankly, I haven’t looked back.  Yes I still have my corporate laptop that I use on occasion but the reality is, everything I need to do in my work life and my personal life I can do on Chrome.  So with that clear, I still stand by the title of this article:  The future is very bright from Chrome OS.

I believe this for several different reasons and all of them are intertwined to paint this bright future picture.  First is the rapidly maturing Operating System itself.  The Chrome OS of today, Build 53, is far superior in every way to the Chrome OS I started on last year, Chrome 48.  Second, is the era in which we live in.  We are, finally, approaching the post-PC world that Apple and others have been talking about since 2008.  But eight years on, we are actually there or darn close.  Third is adoption of Chrome OS as a platform in businesses and in education, the later of which was dominated by PCs, then by Apple and now nearly by Chrome OS.  Finally, there is the clear direction in which Google and the Chromium team within it are going to take the devices and platform in the future.  The Chromebook I’m tying this article on today (a HP Chromebook 11 G4) will be vastly overshadowed by what a device will look like this time next year or in 2018.  All of these things add up to a future that sees Chrome OS not only as a part of but a dominant player.  And the cool thing is, everyone reading this is on the cusp of it all.  We get to see it all unfold and that, speaking from experience as a Microsoftie during the Windows XP days, is a very cool thing to see.

Chrome OS Updated To Chrome 53 on Most Devices

Chrome OS has been updated today to build level 53 for a wide range of devices.  The new build is version 53.0.2785.103 (Platform version: 8530.81.0) for those keeping score at home and it is already available to download to your Chromebook or Chromebox.  The update is for the vast majority of devices out there with the notable exception of the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), Acer Chromebook R11, ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA, HP Chromebox CB1, and Acer C7 Chromebook.  Those devices, as you probably already know, are running a built that includes Android apps.  This new build for the rest of the devices out there does not contain the ability to add Android apps to your Chrome device.

New Android-Like Hangouts Chrome Extension Now Available

If you are a heavy user of Hangouts and use Chrome or Chrome OS, there is a new extension and app for you to check out.  Last week Google announced that a new, Android-like Chrome extension for Hangouts would be coming out with the aim to improve performance and the overall look and feel of the UI.  Achievement unlocked as both the extension and the app look far better than the old style and both perform exceptionally well.

The new extension can be found in the Chrome Web Store which allows you to run Hangouts while you are using your Chrome browser regardless of platform.  This is what the majority of users will want, especially Chrome OS users, as the browser tends to stay open all the time.

Acer Chromebook R13 Announced At IFA

Today at IFA in Berlin, Germany, Acer announced a new Chromebook that looks pretty impressive.  The new Chromebook R13 will be hitting stores in October and it sports not only a touchscreen but also has a folding design so you can use it as a slate.  This is the combination that many Chromebook users have been waiting for from the platform and with a price tag of around $400, it is still reasonably affordable.

As the name suggests, the R13 has a 13″ LCD display that provides 1080p HD, has 4GB of RAM and will start out with 16GB of storage.  Acer plans to have 32GB and 64GB models available at the time of the release.  The R13 is powered by a MediaTek MT8173C quad-core processor, has a USB Type-C port, HDMI port and a 720p webcam.