Updated to Version 64

My Chromebook Was Upgraded to Version 64

This morning I checked for a Chromebook version update. See http://cb4s.net/finding-the-current-chrome-os-version/ . It began downloading an update. In the update installation dialog box, there was a checkbox next to “Update firmware for added security,” which I checked. By doing so, any chips in the Chromebook that need it will get also get updated. See https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/tpm_firmware_update for more information.

Apparently, this was a major update. During the process, a notice popped up that said, “This upgrade resets your Chromebook & removes current data.” When the upgrade completed, I was at factory-fresh. I was asked for the new computer information. It asked me to choose the wi-fi and its password. Then it asked me to sign in with my account (email address & password). Once I did so, it set up my Chromebook from the cloud. Then it asked to install Google Play Store, which my Chromebook supports.

Once Google Play was installed, I waited a few minutes and noticed that a down-arrow appeared in the notification area next to the status tray. It was now downloading more apps that had been installed. However, not all of my apps automatically downloaded.

I had to go to Play Store and click on the 3-line menu on the top left. Then I chose “my apps & games.” There were 3 tabs at the top, Updates, Installed, & Library. The Library tabs show which apps I had installed prior to this on my Chromebook or my Android phone. I then added any apps that I wanted. It gave me the opportunity to leave out unused apps that I had previously installed.

Obviously, my Chromebook would not remember any accounts or passwords associated with any of my apps, so I had to use my eWallet password manager for those that I did not remember. Make sure that you keep a list of all of your passwords. A password manager is better than index cards or a sheet of paper, but a list should be kept.

My Chromebook version is now 64 (64.0.3282.167). It was upgraded from version 63 (63.0.3239.140).   


Google Play Store image

The List Grows

Updated January 6, 2018

Google continues to add Chromebook models that have access to the Google Play Store. Some are considered Stable and some are still in Beta, but these can now access Play Store, install & use Android Apps. The list is updated as additional models are added. You can always check it here.

The models currently able to utilize Android Apps (as of January 6, 2018) are:
Stable Channel:


  • Acer Chromebook R11 (CB5-132T, C738T)
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (R751T)
  • Acer Chromebook R13 (CB5-312T)
  • Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731, C731T)
  • Acer Chromebook 11 (C771, C771T)
  • Acer Chromebook 14 (CB3-431)
  • Acer Chromebook 14 for Work (CP5-471)
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-532)
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (CB515-1HT/1H)
  • Acer Chromebook 11 (C740)
  • Aopen Chromebox Mini
  • Aopen Chromebase Mini
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C213
  • Asus Chromebook C202SA
  • Asus Chromebook C300SA / C301SA
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C302
  • CTL NL61 Chromebook
  • CTL J2 / J4 Chromebook
  • Dell Chromebook 11 (3180)
  • Dell Chromebook 11 Convertible (3189)
  • Dell Chromebook 13 (3380)
  • Dell Chromebook 13 (7310)
  • eduGear Chromebook K Series
  • eduGear Chromebook M Series
  • Edxis Education Chromebook
  • Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
  • Google Pixelbook
  • Haier Chromebook 11e
  • HiSense Chromebook 11
  • HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5 EE
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5
  • HP Chromebook 13 G1
  • Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Chromebook (Gen 4)
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Yoga Chromebook (Gen 4)
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook (Gen 3)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Yoga Chromebook (Gen 3)
  • Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
  • Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook
  • Lenovo N22 Chromebook
  • Lenovo N23 Chromebook
  • Lenovo N42 Chromebook
  • Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Chromebook
  • Medion Chromebook S2015
  • Mercer Chromebook NL6D
  • Ncomputing Chromebook CX100
  • Nexian Chromebook 11.6”
  • PCMerge Chromebook PCM-116E
  • Prowise Chromebook Entryline
  • Poin2 Chromebook 11
  • Poin3 Chromebook 14
  • Positivo Chromebook CH1190
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro
  • Samsung Chromebook 3
  • Sector 5 E1 Rugged Chromebook
  • Viglen Chromebook 11

Beta Channel:

  • Acer Chromebook 15 (CB5-571 / C910)
  • CTL J5 Convertible Chromebook
  • eduGear CMT Chromebook
  • Haier Chromebook 11 C
  • PCMerge Chromebook PCM-116T-432B
  • Prowise Chromebook Proline
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)
  • Viglen Chromebook 360

If you have one of these devices and want to try out Android Apps, simply navigate to Settings and click the hamburger menu (three horizontal bars) at the top left and select About Chrome OS. From there select “detailed build information” and “change channel.” Click Beta and change the channel.

The update will take only a few minutes to download depending on your network speed. Once complete, you will be prompted to restart. After your Chromebook reboots, you should be greeted with a notification that you have a “critical update” waiting for your device. This is the Play Store update.

Click update and continue logging in.

After the update is complete you should see Google Play in your settings menu. You can enable Android Apps and start installing. Start with just one.  As always, make sure you backup any data you do not want to lose. Moving back to the Stable channel will require a “Powerwash” of your Chromebook.


My Chromebook is a Phone

Today, I made my Chromebook a phone. I can dial out to any phone and receive calls just using my Chromebook and an Android App from MagicJack . Not only can I use it as a phone, I can also message with the app as well.

Now there are some “gotchas” to this. You need to have either a MagicJackPlus or the more recent MagicJackGo. The Go is available at Amazon for $35 and includes 1 year of free service. Service after the first year is $39 for 1 year or $30 per year if you renew for 3 years. When I upgraded to my Plus 4 years ago, I paid $20 per year for 5 years. I have 1 more to go before I will have to renew again.

MagicJack Dial PadThere is an iOS & an Android App for the MagicJack. I was able to install the App on my Chromebook which is one that currently supports Android Apps (see the list here). The App has not been truly formatted for a Chromebook, so it will be in a phone-sized window. If you have a convertible 2-in-1 touch screen that makes into a tablet Chromebook, you can turn it to portrait mode and full screen it to make it look like a giant phone. You also need a Chromebook that has a microphone (many do) and a speaker, which I think all of them have.

You are allowed 1 external device per MagicJack. I had to remove my iPad from the account and add the Chromebook. Once I did that, it worked perfectly.

Messaging with MagicJackThe app will also send text messages. It does not allow photo attachments. Text and emojis seemed to work fine. If the app is not open, I do get notifications in the bottom right of the screen next to the Status Tray that I have received a call or a message. There is also a notification number in the app.

So, if I should forget my cell phone or it runs out of battery, and I have wi-fi available, I will still have a phone in my Chromebook.

MagicJack Recent Calls



Generic Stylus

Being Stylus

Touchscreens are everywhere. I no longer have any of my “toys” without one. My desktop computer has a 23? Hannspree touch monitor. My Dell 15? laptop, Microsoft Surface 3 and the 11? Chromebook have touchscreens. Of course, the iPad, the 2 Android smartphones, and our old iPhones are touch.

ballpoint pen stylus comborubber stylusLike many of my friends & neighbors, my fingers are not as easy to control and precision is not always the norm. I attend a lot of trade shows and local events where businesses have booths where they give away advertising “stuff.” Many of them now give away a stylus or a pen with a stylus. I always pick some up, to use or to share with friends.

The stylus usually is rubber tipped and you use it like a pointer. It works well with the touchscreens on phones. I found that those did not work on my Surface 3 which required a $50 special stylus. I did find an HTC Scribe Digital Pen for $4 for it and ordered 3 of them. They only worked on the Surface 3 and not on any of my other devices. They are now available on Amazon for $30.

Musemee Notier V2 Precision Stylus for Capacitance Touchscreen DevicesI wanted a more precise stylus, so I decided to try a couple that I found on Amazon. The Musemee Notier V2 Precision Stylus for Capacitance Touchscreen Devices sells for $12 and is a Prime item. It has a replaceable tip with a clear disc which gives you an accurate point. The cap is part of the body so you won’t lose it. It is not easy to grip and does not have a pocket clip. It does work on every one of my touch screens including the Surface 3.

 Meko StylusI also ordered the MEKO (2nd Generation) [2 in 1 Precision Series] Disc Stylus/Styli with Fiber Tip from Amazon for $18, but the package contains 2 of them. The price is actually $9. It is not a Prime product but has free shipping. It has a similar replaceable tip with a clear disk on one end and a fiber tip on the other end. It has a screw on cap that fits at either end, so you should not lose it. It also works on all my devices. My one complaint about this item is that the clip is too short and doesn’t really clip to a shirt pocket properly.

MEKO -2 Pcs w-replacementBoth the Musemee and the Meko come with extra points and you can purchase more. If you drop the stylus; the end will break and it needs to be replaced. I like both instruments and suggest either as an add-on or perhaps a gift, especially for those who have a problem hitting the right keys.

cursive is not dead

Chomebooks Roll Out 2017-2018

Chomebooks Roll Out 2017-2018

Chromebooks were the computers of choice in 58% of the k-12 schools last year. It appears that the number will increase and it is predicted that Chromebooks will account for 70% of them in just the next few years. It is my opinion that if school kids, especially at the elementary school level, can easily use these computers, then senior citizens should be able to do so. Those seniors who want to use the technology, but who feel overwhelmed with Windows, Macs, or iPads can feel comfortable quickly. I feel so strongly that seniors can do this, I bought one myself and have started a website, Chromebooks for Seniors http://cb4s.net to help any parent or grandparent get started and to learn how best to use the technology.

News clippings about Chromebook rollouts in schoolsMany of you reading this either didn’t have the technology when you were growing up or took classes on how to use computers & software. Today that has changed. Computers are not taught as classes. They are “tools” for learning. While there is some introductory computer time, it quickly becomes just part of the day. We had protractors, slide rules, etc., to deal with. Today’s youth know about computers before getting to their first day of kindergarten.

The rollout of Chromebooks has begun in school system around the US, Canada, and the rest of the world. With the cost substantially lower than other computers and tablets, with Google & others providing tools for schools and teachers to easily adapt Chromebooks and control what is used, connect teachers to students and teachers to parents, it is no wonder that so many students are being provided their own computers.

I contend that the Chromebook is “The Remedy for the Aches & Pains of Computing” for seniors. No longer do you have to worry about viruses, malware, ransomware, backing-up data, and updating. The Chrome Operating System takes care of that for you. The computer boots in less than 15 seconds and the battery life is normally 10 hours or more before recharging. Be sure to go to Chromebooks 4 Seniors for much more information and help.

Support for Android Apps on Chromebooks grows

Printer & Android Updates to Chromebooks This Week

Printing via the network and 16 additional Chromebooks that can now run Android Apps were changes to the Chrome OS & Chromebooks this week.

Brother Printer MFC-J870DWThere was an update to the Chrome OS on my Chromebook this week. The OS updated from version 58 to 59. One of the advantages of the new version was to enable printing via the network instead of using Google Cloud Print. However, my printer is not recognized through the network and when I went to set it up manually, my model was missing from the long list of printers & models. My printer does support Google Cloud Print, so I can print. To try yours, take a look at How to print to a local network printer from a Chromebook for instructions to set up your printer through your network. If that does not work, let’s hope that your printer supports Google Cloud Print.

I also saw that effective today, that Google added 16 Chromebooks to the list of those that can run Android Apps. Those are

  • Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731, C731T)
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-532)
  • Asus Chromebook C202SA
  • ASUS Chromebook C300SA/C301SAAndroid
  • CTL NL61 Chromebook
  • Dell Chromebook 11 (3180)
  • Dell Chromebook 11 Convertible (3189)
  • Dell Chromebook 13 (3380)
  • HP Chromebook 11 G5 EE
  • HP Chromebook 13 G1
  • Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook
  • Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook
  • Lenovo N22 Chromebook
  • Lenovo N23 Chromebook
  • Samsung Chromebook 3
  • Mercer Chromebook NL6D

Those devices join the Acer Chromebook R11 (the one that I have), Asus Chromebook Flip, and Google’s own Chromebook Pixel. Many more devices are planned for the future, and hopefully we’ll get those sooner rather than later. For a complete and up-to-date list of Chrome OS Systems Supporting Android Apps see https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/dev/chromium-os/chrome-os-systems-supporting-android-apps


chromebook with logo on screen

Review of Acer R11 Chromebook

It is just 7 weeks since I purchased my first Chromebook, the Acer R11. I was a novice of what to look for and did some preliminary research before buying my Acer R11. I wanted to touch and feel before buying so I went to my nearby Best Buy store. They had 3 models on display and in stock. After looking over the 3, the Acer R11 was on sale and seemed to have the specs that I wanted. It only has 16GB of storage, but I thought that should be enough. The biggest plus for the unit was the price. It lists for $299, The website had it priced at $259 and it was on sale for $239. It has a touchscreen, which was on my required list. It also is a 2 in 1 as the screen folds all the way back to be a tablet. It has 2 USB ports, an HDMI port, an SD slot to add more storage, and a single audio input. This model also offers 100GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years.

When I got it home, I plugged it in to charge it and it can also be used while charging. When I turned it on it asked me to select 3 items, language, keyboard, & network. Since it relies on the cloud, you need to connect to a wi-fi signal, so it gives you a list of those networks available. I chose my home wi-fi. It then asked me to accept the Google OS terms and when I did, it checked and installed some upgrades, which included the OS version which has the beta of Google Play. That beta gives me the ability to download & use Android Apps, which is new to Chromebooks.

There are only 3 Chromebook models that are ready to use Android Apps, but more on that in later blogs. I did not realize at the time that I also could still use the Google Web Store and install any of its apps as well.

Once the upgrade was completed, a matter of minutes, it asked for me to sign in. I was in a dilemma. I wasn’t sure if I should use my main Gmail account or create a new one for this Chromebook. I first logged on in an included Guest Account to look around. I then logged out and decided to use a new Gmail account, which I set up from the sign in screen. I was still unsure of which account to use, especially to get the free 100GB Google Drive space. I skipped signing up for the extra space and thought that I could do so later.

After looking around for a while, I decided to use use the new account and to log into the Google Drive from my main account when I needed it. I started to add Android Apps of programs that I use regularly on all my devices, such as Evernote, Feedly, TuneIn, Netflix, Alexa & Dropbox. It was then I tried to activate my free 100GB of storage, and it did not work. I called Acer who referred me to Google Tech Support. The tech said that I needed to go to settings and run “Powerwash” to take me back to a Factory Fresh state. “Oh, NO!” I had just installed a bunch of Apps. The tech reassured me that it was not a problem on the Chromebook. She walked me through it. And when it came up with the screen to fill in the Language, Keyboard, & Network, I knew I was screwed. I signed in and it asked if I wanted to activate the 100GB and where. I filled in my main account and it said it completed. I looked at my installed programs and ALL of them were there. I tested a few & they worked. The tech had me check and I now had 115GB of cloud storage. Since everything is stored in the cloud, everything was restored! I loved it. No backup is needed. The OS is its own backup.

I am continuing to use the Chromebook and for the most part, I am quite happy with it. Keep watching for more of my blogs about Chromebooks in general and my experiences in particular. There is also a new website coming for choosing and using Chromebooks, especially for senior citizens.

The Search For The Perfect Solution

I am the “goto” person for many friends, neighbors, and others when it comes to issues with technology, especially Windows computers. Most of these people are senior citizens. Their computer and smartphone usage is mostly limited to Facebook, games, photos, watching videos, e-mail, browsing the web, banking, paying bills and perhaps purchasing items. Windows computers are far too complex for most, especially when it comes to