Entries by Hewie Poplock

Get More Out of Your Chromebook by Running Linux Apps

Chrome OS, itself based on the Linux kernel, can now run Linux apps—the circle is complete. If you’ve got the latest version of Chrome OS, and a fairly new Chromebook, you can now install some of the best applications Linux has to offer. Here’s how to go about it, and why you might do it in the first place.

The feature is officially called Crostini inside Google, a way of running Linux programs in secure containers so the overall security of Chrome OS—one of the key selling points of Chromebooks—isn’t compromised in any way (the default Linux container that Crostini installs is Debian). It’s the same way that Android apps work on Chromebooks.

Google releases Chrome OS 69 with new Material Theme

Google’s big Chrome overhaul that arrived on desktop and mobile earlier this month is coming to Chromebooks today with the release of Chrome OS version 69. The really noticeable change is the new Material Theme redesign of Chrome itself, which brings tabs with rounded corners and some softer aesthetic elements, like a blank white new tab page, to the overall look and feel of the browser.

The 7 Best Video Editors for Chromebook

Chromebooks are more than mere glorified web browsers. They’re fantastic machines that can perform many of the same tasks as Windows and macOS.

One of those tasks is video editing. Since Android apps became available on Chrome OS, the number of video editing apps available for your Chromebook has exploded.

Premium Chromebooks Are Here But Should You Buy?

Chromebook critics often complain that they are cheap laptops with poor build quality and small, low-resolution displays — and for good reason. There have been few premium Chromebooks available to those who value the simplicity of Google’s operating system. That’s largely because Chrome OS has, almost exclusively, been marketed to the education sector, i.e., students and teachers.

That is, until Google released its own Pixelbook, a premium laptop with a starting price of $999. While the laptop was generally well-received, some argue that it doesn’t make sense to splurge on premium hardware that can run only web-based programs and Android apps. Traditional laptop manufacturers seemed to have felt the same way, and didn’t follow Google’s lead. Instead, they continued to sell budget Chromebooks, fortifying Chrome OS’ reputation as an operating system meant for children, not adults.

Chromebooks Will Soon Have Native Network Connectivity with Windows PCs

A coming revision to Chrome OS will enable Windows-compatible network browsing by default. This means that Chromebooks will be able to connect with Windows PCs just as easily as other Windows PCs do today.

“Network File Shares (such as Samba) are now enabled by default in Chrome OS Canary,” Google’s François Beaufort explains on Google+, and referring to a pre-release version of the system. “This means you can browse another machine folder quite easily once it’s set up.”

If I’m reading the Chromium link that Mr. Beaufort links to correctly, most people will see this functionality appear in Chrome OS version 70, which is set for October 23.

Chromebook Tablets Getting Proper Desktop Mode In Chrome OS

Sure, the landscape of Chrome OS tablets is pretty lonely for the moment. Acer’s Chromebook Tab 10 is the only completely-tablet option available right now, but devices like HP’s Chromebook x2 and the upcoming #madebyGoogle ‘Nocturne’ are both devices many users will interact with in tablet mode frequently.

For the latter two devices mentioned above (and any other detachable Chromebooks coming down the line), this news isn’t that big of a deal. After all, a device with an included keyboard will clearly work in desktop mode when connected to its base. This much is simple and clear, but even detachables and convertibles stand to benefit from this change that is on the way.