Chrome OS Version 57 Has Been Released

Here’s an overview of the changes. Note the PIN Unlock feature!

Stable Channel Updates for Chrome OS

Google Chrome Blog – By: Ketaki Deshpande – “The Stable channel has been updated to 57.0.2987.123 (Platform version: 9202.56.1, 9202.56.2) for all Chrome OS devices except AOpen Chromebase Mini, AOpen Chromebox Mini, Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA, Samsung Chromebook Plus. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates, and feature enhancements. Systems will be receiving updates over the next several days.

Some highlights of these changes are:

  • Enable silent authentication
  • Updated default wallpaper
  • Updated boot animation
  • Media files from Android Applications available in Files
  • Application
  • PIN unlock is available on all Chromebooks
  • Chrome Camera App Front/Rear Flip UI
  • Image copy/paste feature for Citrix Receiver on Chrome OS
  • Power button now turns off display on devices that support tablet-mode

Security Fixes:
Note: Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed.

If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue…’ in the Chrome menu (3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser).”

Android O Will Address the Chromebook Keyboard

I am looking foward to Android O!

Android O will work better on Chromebooks, thanks to improved keyboard support

The Verge – By: Nick Statt – “Part of Google’s upcoming Android O release is a new and improved model for keyboard navigation, which will make using Android apps on a Chromebook a little less frustrating. As it stands today, a majority of Android apps are designed with only touchscreen navigation in mind. That makes them hard to use on larger screens, and pretty much unusable on devices that rely solely on keyboard and mouse inputs. So with Android O, Google wants to give developers an opportunity to integrate better keyboard navigation so Android apps can play a bit nicer with Chrome OS laptops.

‘With the advent of Android Apps on Chrome OS and other large form factors, we’re seeing a resurgence of keyboard navigation use within Android apps,’ Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android, writes in a blog post. ‘In Android O we focused on building a more reliable, predictable model for ‘arrow’ and ‘tab’ navigation that aids both developers and end users.’

Google first announced cross-platform capability for Android apps at last year’s I/O developer conference in May. Since then, Google has added support for a number of a different Chromebook models from companies like HP, Dell, Samsung, and Asus. The company also attempted to bridge its two software ecosystems together to make the process of using Chrome OS as simple and seamless as an Android smartphone.

Yet that last mission hasn’t been so successful. Too often new Chromebooks, regardless of whether they’re from Google or Samsung or manufacturers, feel unequipped to handle mobile apps. That’s made Android support on Chrome OS feel like a beta feature waiting for the finished software touches. As time goes on, however, we can expect Google to use newer versions of Android to make the experience smoother and more refined. Keyboard navigation is a small step, but it’s one in the right direction.”

2-In-1 Chromebooks Are Getting a Fix to the Power Button

This will help them function more like a tablet when in tablet mode.

2-in-1 Chromebooks will start using the power button correctly in a future Chrome OS version

9to5 Google – By: Ben Schoon – “2-in-1 Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook Plus and ASUS C302A are just begging to be used with Android apps as tablets, however, there are some key differences between these and your traditional tablet ─ aside from Chrome OS that is. One of those is how the power button acts when the device is in tablet mode, but that’s soon changing…

Currently, Chromebooks that have 360-degree hinges only change how they work in terms of disabling the keyboard and adding free rotation of the UI. Everything else works exactly the same as it does in laptop mode. That includes the power button, which in laptop mode acts first as a button to lock the device with the screen on, then turn off the machine with a longer press.

Android tablets, on the other hand, immediately lock and turn off the display when the power button is pressed, activating sleep mode. It’s a little thing, but having this on a convertible Chromebook would certainly make things feels a bit more familiar, and that’s exactly what Google is working on.

As pointed out by ChromeUnboxed, the beta channel of Chrome OS currently supports using the power button as a sleep button on the Samsung Chromebook Plus. One click turns off the display and puts the machine in sleep mode while a second click brings it back to life at the lockscreen. This is certainly a welcome change for these machines, and is only going to be more vital as new hardware debuts, especially the Chrome OS tablets and detachables that are coming soon…”

Neverware Now Supports Microsoft Office 365!

Neverware, now with Office 365?!

Neverware’s Chrome OS for old computers now includes Office 365

Engadget – By: Devindra Hardawar – “Neverware has made a name for itself with its CloudReady software, which essentially transforms any old PC or Mac into a Chromebook. But while that’s a nice way to breathe new life into aging computers, it’s naturally reliant on Google’s online services. Now, the company is offering a new version of Cloud Ready for schools that integrates Microsoft’s Office 365 online suite instead. It might seem blasphemous, but it could be useful for schools and other organizations that are already deeply integrated with Microsoft’s software.

While it’s still basically just Chrome OS, the new version of CloudReady will sport integration with OneDrive instead of Google Drive. And similarly, it’ll point you to the online versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other Microsoft software. There’s nothing stopping you from using the online Office 365 apps with the original version of CloudReady, but the deeper integration could make it a bit easier to use for students, teachers and administrators.

Another plus? Neverware’s Office 365 version of CloudReady will cost just $1 per student every year (or $15 per device annually). That’ll make it very useful for cash-strapped school districts. Neverware worked together with Microsoft to develop the new version of its OS, which should allay IT department fears about relying on a young software company.”

Are More Cameras on the Horizon for Chromebooks?

It looks like more cameras could be coming to future Chromebooks!

Chrome OS Camera Gets Multi-Camera Options

Chrome Unboxed – By: Robby Payne – “Up until this point, the camera app for Chrome OS has been limited to a single camera. Namely, the camera right above your screen. And, until now, that has been all that is really needed. Chromebooks keep it simple, and a single webcam is as simple as it gets.

We are now seeing reports from Google’s own François Beaufort that the standard Chrome OS Camera is now capable of multi-camera input.

So, if you have a webcam sitting around or a much nicer camera that can act as a USB webcam, just plug it in and the camera app will give you the ability to choose between all of your connected cameras.

Sure, this isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but it is sign of things to come and a potentially beneficial feature moving forward. Let me explain.

A POSSIBLE USE CASE

For YouTubers, this addition could become very useful. YouTube Live is just getting started, but I can see us using a Chromebook connected to our Sony A6000 for live video.

With the Android YouTube app, a camera, and a Chromebook, you could be uploading some potentially crispy live video.

Sure, it is nice to use a phone for live video, but being able to set up a tripod with a more capable camera is very interesting, to say the least.

SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

Additionally, this change points clearly to a future (one that is coming very soon) with Chrome OS Tablets. Front and rear-facing cameras are common on tablets, so this change is more likely a move to accommodate this new form factor we are looking very forward to. Though the multiple camera setup would be nice on a standard Chromebook, this tablet implementation is likely the reason behind the move.

Either way and for any of the use cases you can think of, this is yet another step forward in the ever-evolving Chrome OS landscape.”

You Can “Force-Quit” Apps on Chromebooks!

Do you ever get “stuck” with an app that won’t close on your Chromebook? There is a way to Force-Quit!

How to force quit apps on a Chromebook

CNET – By: Matt Elliott – “When things go sideways with Windows, there’s Ctrl-Alt-Delete to get you to the Task Manager where you can investigate what’s causing the problem and end any unresponsive apps. When something goes wrong on a Mac, there’s Command-Option-Escape to call up the Force Quit Applications window. But when an app freezes or starts acting sluggish on a Chromebook, where do you turn? Is there a keyboard shortcut that can put an end to your troubles?

Chromebook Task Manager

I have good news for Chromebook users. There is such a keyboard shortcut, and it’s quite simple. When something is amiss on your Chromebook and you need to force quit an app, hit Shift-Escape. This keyboard shortcut calls up Chrome’s Task Manager. Since Chrome apps are the only kinds of apps that a Chromebook runs, Chrome’s Task Manager is the only task manager you need on a Chromebook. Just click on the app that’s giving you problems and hit the End Process button.

At the top of the Task Manager, you’ll see Chrome listed. You can’t select it and force quit it because Chrome OS isn’t anything more than the Chrome browser with a bit of window dressing, which means that quitting Chrome would amount to shutting down your Chromebook. If you are experiencing an issue that force quitting an app can’t solve, then shut down your Chromebook by clicking the system tray in the bottom-right corner of your display and then clicking the power button. Or if you’re really stuck, hold down the power button for 3 seconds to power down your system.”

The Chromest Netcast #13 – Video – “A Special Report!”

A short special report on some breaking news about the Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Android apps can now go “full screen” in the Developer Channel! Also, Chrome applications on other than Chrome platforms will be disappearing over the next year.

The Chromest Netcast #13 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

The Chromest Netcast #13 – Audio – “A Special Report!”

A short special report on some breaking news about the Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Android apps can now go “full screen” in the Developer Channel! Also, Chrome applications on other than Chrome platforms will be disappearing over the next year.

The Chromest Netcast #13 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

The Chromest Netcast #12 – Video – “Chromebooks Just Work!”

Become a Patron of our shows on Patreon! Even PC users begin to “get” Chromebooks, is a Chromebook Pro coming? New features in the Chrome browser, Chromebooks can now use Skype for the Web!

The Chromest Netcast #12 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

The Chromest Netcast #12 – Audio – “Chromebooks Just Work!”

TBecome a Patron of our shows on Patreon! Even PC users begin to “get” Chromebooks, is a Chromebook Pro coming? New features in the Chrome browser, Chromebooks can now use Skype for the Web!

The Chromest Netcast #12 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed