So if you are super paranoid about Google knowing everything about you, this post may not be good for your blood pressure. If, however, you like being able to see your activity using Google products and services on any give day, the new My Activity site is for you. And frankly, it is pretty darn cool. For each day you can see a breakdown of the apps, services and other content that you have done on any given day. It is literally a minute-by-minute breakdown. You can see your search history, the website you have visited, the apps you have used, the YouTube videos you have viewed. You get the idea: If you give Google access to this information, it is in there in impressive detail.
HP, like many other traditional PC manufactures, is getting serious about Chrome OS. The company has announced the new Chromebook 11 G5, an 11.6″ Chromebook that will start at just $189 when it is released to partners this month and retailers in October. The new Chromebook 11 will be available with an optional touch screen display which, given that upcoming release of Android apps on Chrome OS, is something those of you in the market for a Chromebook should seriously consider. It will be powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 and likely will have configurable memory and storage options once it does hit the HP store. Equally, it was have an impressive 12.5 hours of battery life.
Chrome OS users on the Stable channel have a new platform update out today. The updated build, version 51.0.2704.103 (Platform version: 8172.56.0/8172.57.0) for those keeping score at home, is primarily a security and bug fix release so don’t look for a lot of new features. No, in case you are curious, this is not the build that brings Android apps to the platform on some devices. That’s the Developer channel.
Google has just released an updated build of Chrome OS for all devices running on the platform. The update build is version 51.0.2704.79 (Platform version: 8172.47.0) for those keeping score at home. On some devices the platform version will end in .1 or .2 so keep that in mind but the main thing you want to look for is the 51.0.2704 build. As usual, there are a significant number of updates and security improvements made to the OS but there is also a significant improvement when it comes to the handling of external monitors connected to your Chrome-based devices.
After weeks of rumors and speculation, Google announced this morning at I/O that the Google Play Store, and subsequently millions of Android apps, are coming to Chrome OS. The announcement means that later this year, all Chrome OS users will be able to download, install and use their favorite Android apps on their Chromebooks without compromising performance or security. This, folks, is a big deal. It means that the OS will have honest-to-goodness apps, not web apps, which means you can get the same user experience on your Chromebook as you do your tablet or phone.
The Chromium team at Google has pushed out another small, midstream update to the platform today, bringing a handful of minor fixes and improvements. The new build versions are 50.0.2661.103 or 50.0.2661.104 (Platform version: 7879.74.0 or 7978.76.0) and it is available for all devices with two notable exceptions: The Pinky 11.6″ Chromebooks and the Asus Chromebit. No word is given in the release on if these devices will see a separate update later but if you own one of those devices, keep checking. There are not a huge number of changes in this update, with the release stating stability improvements, bug fixes and security updates are included in it.
The Chromium team has released an update to the stable channel of Chrome OS for most devices that brings several security improvements and other enhancements. The big news in this release is the support of Material Design in the Chrome browser built into the OS. The update you are looking for is build 50.0.2661.91 (Platform version: 7879.66.0) or 50.0.2661.94 (Platform version: 7978.69.0). depending on your device. Also, this release is not available for the Pinky 11.6″ Chromebooks and Asus Chromebit. No word on when or if those devices will receive the update. If you have a compatible device, the update is already being pushed out by Google now and you can get it by going to Settings>About Chrome OS and check for an update. The update will require a reboot of your Chrome OS device.