Category Archives: General Information on Chrome

Two USB Adapters You May Need for Your Chromebook!

USB CHandy Adapters that YOU may need!

2 USB-C adapters worth considering for your Chromebook

ComputerWorld – By: JR Raphael – “Heads-up, my mobile productivity compadres: If you’re using a Chromebook for work, there’s a decent chance you’ll need to load up your laptop bag with a few good adapters.

Increasingly, Chromebooks today — just like laptops in general — are shifting away from the ports-galore model and instead providing us with just a small number of USB-C ports to handle all of our physical connectivity needs.

That’s true with the Google Pixelbook, which has a single USB-C port on either of its two sides and nothing more, save for a 3.5mm headphone jack (oh thank heavens for that). It’s also true of Asus’s Chromebook Flip C302CA and Samsung’s Chromebook Pro and Chromebook Plus, all of which follow that same basic setup. It seems safe to say this is shaping up to be the new standard moving forward.

To be sure, USB-C has lots of advantages over its port predecessors — things like universal compatibility, superfast charging speeds, and a huge range of supported functions. The downside, of course, is that many of those functions require adapters to work. And it’s up to you to make sure you have ’em.

If you’re new to Chrome OS or maybe just the proud owner of a new Chromebook device, you’re probably facing a dizzying array of decisions over what adapters you need and which you should buy. You can find adapters for practically any desire imaginable, after all, no matter how niche it may be.

But for most typical Chromebook users — particularly those who use their devices for productivity while traveling — I’d recommend starting with these two USB-C adapters, both of which have proven invaluable to me while working on the road:

1. A USB-C Ethernet adapter for your Chromebook
Wi-Fi is practically everywhere nowadays — except, y’know, when it isn’t. And while Chromebooks are as capable as any other computer of working offline, sooner or later, you’re gonna need to connect with the world.

Whether you’re in an office, a hotel room, or a convention center where the Wi-Fi is lacking, a good old-fashioned hard-wired Ethernet connection will almost certainly get the job done. I can’t count the number of times having such an option has saved my hide during some sort of business-related travel.

Since most Chromebooks don’t have dedicated Ethernet ports, the answer is a simple little USB-C Ethernet adapter for your device. Plug it into one of your Chromebook’s USB-C ports, connect an active Ethernet cable to the other end, and there ya have it: Your Chromebook will automatically sense the connection, and you’ll be online at the fastest speeds the network can provide. Nothing else to it.

Chromebook USB-C Ethernet Adapter Anker
There are ample adapter options out there for this purpose, but the one I’ve personally traveled with and found to be an excellent Chromebook companion is Anker’s USB-C Unibody Aluminum Portable 1-Gigabit Ethernet Port Network Adapter (try saying that five times fast!). It’s about 23 bucks at Amazon as of this writing. Even if you end up using it once a year, that’ll be a worthwhile investment.

Pick one up and throw in your bag now. You’ll thank yourself later.

2. A USB-C HDMI adapter for your Chromebook
Wireless casting is fantastic. We use it in my house all the time. But when you’re traveling, relying on something like a Google Chromecast to get content from your laptop to a big screen can be a risky endeavor.

Why? Well, for as great as Chromecasts are in the home, they just aren’t designed to work on large public networks — like those frequently found in hotels and convention centers. Basically, if the network you’re using makes you click through a “terms and conditions”-style splash screen when you first connect, you’ll have to jump through all sorts of silly hoops to get wireless casting to work.

But guess what? There’s an easier way! All you need is a USB-C to HDMI adapter, and then you can plug your Chromebook directly into any reasonably recent TV or projector — be it in a meeting room for your important presentation or in a hotel room for your equally important end-of-day decompression.

I’ve again had good luck with Anker’s offering, which currently runs about $24 on Amazon. It’s durable, it supports video up to 4K in resolution, and it works consistently well. (There are plenty of other similar adapters with good reviews, too, so take your pick.)

Just note that Chrome OS’s current default is to treat any external display as an extension of your Chromebook’s screen — not a mirror of it. So once you plug your laptop in, you can either drag whatever window you want to see on the big screen over toward the far right of your actual desktop, as if you were pulling it over onto a secondary display, or you can hit Ctrl and the full-screen button (the box-shaped icon to the right of the refresh key in the function row) to switch to mirroring mode.

Got it? Good. Now don’t forget to pack a hefty snack bag while you’re at it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s an equally important ingredient of effective business travel.”

Become a Chrome OS Master!

Chrome OSTips and tricks for you!

10 Tricks to Make Yourself a Chromebook Master

Gizmodo – By: David Nield – “Chromebooks are on the up and up. If you’re using a laptop running Google’s lightweight, web-based Chrome OS software, there are a bunch of hidden tricks you might not be aware of, from safely giving others access to your Chromebook to getting the newest features for the OS before anyone else. Here are 10 tips for becoming an expert Chromebook user.

1) Save files straight to Google Drive
Chromebooks have limited local storage, but you’re encouraged not to use it, and Google Drive appears as an option whenever you download something from the web. To have Chrome OS save files straight to Google Drive with no prompt, open up the Settings dialog then click Show advanced settings.

Under Downloads, click Change, then specify your Google Drive (or any folder inside it), and click on Open. Back on the Settings screen, untick the box marked Ask where to save each file before downloading. The change is saved automatically and new downloads will go straight to your cloud storage.

2) Use Google Drive offline
Chromebooks have slowly been getting better at working without an internet connection, and Google’s office suite has been leading the way. You can create, edit, and view documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without any internet connectivity, but there’s a setting you need to enable first.

From the front My Drive view in Google Drive, click on the gear icon and choose Settings, then tick the box next to Offline labelled Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline. Any changes are automatically synced back when an internet connection is detected.

3) Mirror the display on a Chromecast
A Chromecast gives you an easy way of getting your laptop’s display up on your television screen. Click the status bar in the lower right-hand corner, then pick the Chromecast option and select your HDMI dongle from the list. Confirm the action on the next dialog box.

The casting feature lets you send audio as well as visuals over to the Chromecast dongle, so it’s one way of getting video from Chrome OS to a TV or monitor. It also works well for photo slideshows. To stop casting, click on the status bar again, then select Stop next to the Chromecast option on the pop-up menu.

4) Fit more on the screen
Most Chromebooks don’t come with the best-looking displays, but you can adjust this (and fit more on the screen) by clicking on Display settings in the Settings menu and changing the resolution manually. You can usually increase the resolution without causing any glitches.

Of course, there are also the standard zoom tools available in the Chrome browser as well if you’re having trouble fitting everything on one screen. Use the zoom tools in the main Chrome OS menu or Ctrl+plus or Ctrl+minus to change the zoom level. Ctrl+0 resets the zoom level back to 100 percent.

5) Unlock Chrome OS with your smartphone
Having to type out your Google password every time you start up your Chromebook isn’t ideal, as secure as it might be. Instead, you can tell Chrome OS to sign you in automatically if it detects a trusted smartphone is nearby. Open up the Settings page then click Show advanced settings to get started.

Smart Lock is the option you need. Click Set up and you’ll be guided through the process of connecting Chromebook to phone (Bluetooth needs to be switched on on both devices). When your phone is in range in the future, you’ll just need to click on your user account avatar to get into your Chromebook.

6) Get the newest features first
As with the Chrome browser, there are different versions of Chrome OS to choose between, and if you find the stable version too staid and boring, you can live life on the edge by switching to the beta or development channels. You get the newest features first in return for a few extra bugs.

From the Settings screen click About Chrome OS, then More info…, and the Change channel button appears. Make your choice (Google explains the different options) and click Change channel… to confirm. If you’re switching to a more stable channel, then your Chromebook will be wiped in the process.

7) Troubleshoot problems with the Chromebook task manager
As straightforward and lightweight as Chrome OS is compared with other operating systems like Windows and macOS, there might still be occasions when you run into problems. If that happens, the task manager can help. Launch it with Shift+Esc from the desktop and it appears in a separate window.

It will be familiar to anyone who’s ever seen a task manager before. You can see each open tab and every running extension, together with how much CPU time, memory space and network bandwidth they’re all using up. Select any entry and click End process to stop any troublesome apps or add-ons.

8) Use Guest Mode when sharing your Chromebook
There might be times when other people are using your Chromebook, but how do you oblige without giving them access to your Google search history and Facebook account and everything else that opens automatically with your web browser? The answer is the Guest Mode built into Chrome OS.

From Settings, click Manage other users and then tick Enable Guest browsing. On the login screen you’ll notice a Browse as Guest option. Click on this and you get a blank, anonymous browser window that anyone can use to surf the web, check social media, and so on without affecting your account.

9) Talk to your Chromebook
Everyone’s talking to their computers these days, and you can set up the same “OK Google” voice trigger available on Android on Chrome OS as well. All you need to do is open up the Settings dialog and tick the box marked Enable “OK Google” to start a voice search (under the Search heading).

With that done, you can say ‘OK Google’ on the Google website, with a new tab open, or with the Chrome OS app launcher. You’ll need to grant permission to use the microphone the first time, and you can then run any search query using your voice, with the results shown on screen and read back to you.

10) Learn some Chromebook keyboard shortcuts
The Chromebook keyboard has some unusual tweaks—a search key instead of a Caps Lock button for example—and there are also plenty of keyboard shortcuts built into the OS. To see them all, press Ctrl+Alt+?. Hold down Alt, Ctrl, Shift or Search to see the shortcuts associated with each one.

There are plenty of shortcuts to play around with but some of the ones we found ourselves using most often include Ctrl+W to close a tab and Ctrl+Shift+T to bring back the most recently closed tab. Alt+[ or Alt+] are also useful shortcuts for docking Chrome OS windows to the left or right of the display.”

Acer Tablet Debuts

Acer TabletWould you buy a Chrome OS tablet? Acer thinks you will!

Acer Officially Debuts The First Chromebook Tablet

Chrome Unboxed – By: Robby Payne – “Well folks, the long wait for the first Chrome OS tablet has finally come to an end. We’ve had to sit on this for a few days, but we’re so excited to announce the official unveiling of the Acer Chromebook Tab 10.

Sure, we saw some leaked images and we’ve known for some time what this device would show up packing (we’ve been tracking ‘Scarlet’ for over a year, after all), but it is so refreshing to finally know that the first Chrome OS tablet is finally going to be widely available in April.

Acer’s press release doesn’t give us a firm date at this point, but April is the launch target and Acer is quite good at landing inside its own predefined windows. Additionally, though this one is being targeted towards the education sector, the availability is slated to be for both consumers and educators alike.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?
We’ve tossed quite a few names around regarding Chrome OS tablets, but it looks like Acer went with something we didn’t really expect. Acer Chromebook Tab. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I suppose the Pixelbook has ushered us into a new realm of Chromebook naming. I’d assume that manufacturers will feel the freedom to name devices anything they like at this point. Pixelbook clearly has no nod to ‘Chromebook’ in the title, but it is most definitely a Chromebook.

Instead of taking that route, Acer has chosen to keep ‘Chromebook’ in the name. Sure, it feels a bit odd, but we’re in a bit of odd territory here, aren’t we?

WHAT TO EXPECT
We’ve talked about the internals of this device before, but here they are, official and straight from Acer:

Display: 9.7-inch IPS (2048×1536)
Processor: OP1 dual-core Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53
Memory: 4GB LPDDR3
Storage: 32GB eMMC with Micro SD slot for expansion
Connectivity: 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac WIFI, Bluetooth 4.1
Stylus: Included Wacom EMR pen (garaged)
Camera: Front-facing 2MP, rear-facing 5MP
Ports: Single USB-C 3.1
Audio: Dual speakers with headphone jack
Battery: 34Wh – up to 9 hours
Weight: 1.21 lbs. (550 grams)
Dimensions: 6.78(W) x 9.38(D) x 0.39(H) inches [172.2(W) x 238.2(D) x 9.98(H) mm]

If some of that spec sheet looks familiar, it should. The internals on this thing are very similar to the Samsung Chromebook Plus. The biggest differences are weight, screen size, and resolutions. The Acer Chromebook Tab is lighter, smaller, and carries a slightly smaller resolution. The smaller screen size (9.7-inch vs. 12.3-inch) compared to the Samsung will actually give it a higher PPI, so don’t expect to see any pixels on the screen. It should look fantastic.

Between the size, display, weight and overall portability on offer here, Acer could have a pretty sweet device on its hands.

PRICING & AVAILABILITY
According to Acer, the Chromebook Tab will be available in the US in April and EMEA in May. The US price will be $329 at launch and €329 (including VAT) when the EMEA release happens in May. Other regions are not spoken for at this point.

$329 for a high-res, lightweight, stylus-equipped tablet? Seems about right for now, but if Apple does what most are expecting this week and launches a sub-$300 iPad, Acer might have to quickly reduce the price of this one to make any dent in the consumer market where iPads completely dominate.

For Chromebook users, the one knock this one will have against it is the lack of integrated keyboard and mouse support. Sure, you can use your favorite peripherals, but there are no keyboard cases available specifically for this device just yet. There are quite a few generic Bluetooth keyboard cases on Amazon, so there will be options: just don’t expect a tailor-made solution for this one.

Depending on the use case, using a Chrome OS device as a tablet first could be great. No one has done this yet, so I’ll hold off on commenting until we get a review unit in the office and try it out. All that being said, the device looks great, should perform well, and will likely provide a great fit for younger students who aren’t looking to do a ton of typing. There will probably be a handful of consumers quite interested as well.

For now, just know that the first Chrome OS tablet is upon us and other tablets and detachables are already waiting in the wings. 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year!”

The Difference Between Google Chrome and the New Windows S Operating System

Here’s why Google isn’t worried!

Windows 10 S vs Chrome OS: What’s the Difference?

Guiding Tech – By: Ajinkya Bhamburkar – “Last week, Microsoft released a new Surface laptop and a new edition of Windows 10, the S. While not the upgrade to the Surface Pro 4 that everyone was hoping for, the new laptop is sleek & beautiful. But more than that, it’s a statement made by Microsoft to showcase the new OS, much like what Google did with it’s mighty(and now discontinued) Pixel.

With Windows 10 S, Microsoft is hoping to take on Chrome OS, which has been a darling of school & college goers with it’s cheap hardware and equally light OS. So what makes Windows 10 S different from it. Quite a few things, which we are going to see today. Below are the top 5 ways in which both the OS’s differ.

1. Windows 10 S is not light
With Chrome being the competitor, many might think that Windows 10 S is as lightweight as the Chrome OS. But that’s not the case. Apart from few under the hood changes in areas of battery life & performance, the S is essentially comparable to Windows 10 Pro edition, albeit with few features cut down.

Disk space wise, the installer for 64-bit version of Chromium OS is 116 MB in size & it takes around 7 GB when installed. As for Windows 10 S, we can’t test that as we don’t have the new Surface book and you can’t download Windows 10 S from anywhere. But I am sure it would be definitely greater than what Chromium OS demands.

2. Windows 10 S is not Cloud Based
The whole point of Chrome OS was to get you faster online. So they shifted the OS part to the cloud, making you online as soon as you boot up the PC.

This also made the OS much lighter as majority of the files were pulled from the cloud instead being stored on your PC. In contrast Windows 10 S is not cloud and will take up disk space just like regular Windows.

3. Windows 10 S can be Upgraded
If you don’t like being forced to use Edge, Bing & only Windows Store apps, you can upgrade to full fledged Windows 10 Pro and remove all these restrictions for a fee of $49.

While this is a little frustrating as you just spent $999 on the laptop, at least you get an option. In Chrome OS world, any kind of upgrading means switching to a different OS altogether.

4. Choice of Hardware

Chrome OS being an older and popular operating system has many hardware options from laptops starting from as low as $299, mini PCs and your own PC. As Chromium OS(there’s a difference between Google Chrome OS and Chromium OS) is open source you can download it and install it on your own PC or laptop.

On the other hand, Windows 10 S comes bundled only with the Surface laptop(and other models from OEMs). Moreover currently there is no other option than the (pricey) Surface laptop which offers Windows 10 S.

Also, as a plus point, Windows 10 S offers the same hardware compatibility as main Windows, so no driver hunting is needed and most of the peripherals will work out of the box.

5. App Eco-System

Choosing between the two is much like choosing between iOS & Android. With Chrome OS you will have to live within the Google Eco system of Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Maps etc. For other apps there is the Chrome OS app store or one can even run Android apps.

Windows 10 S is similarly bound to the Windows Store UWP apps. While not quite in numbers as Android apps, the upgrade fee allows you install the almost uncountable Win32 apps.

The Chrome OS is mostly limited to lightweight browser based games while Windows Store app has titles like Gears of War and Forza.

So What’s Your Choice?
With the Back to School season coming in few months, Microsoft has rightly timed the release. But will you switch? With many schools & colleges already heavily invested in the Chrome eco-system, it remains to be seen whether the features & appeal of Windows 10 S is enough to make them switch. Do share your views on the new Windows 10 S in the comments.”

Microsoft’s Chrome OS “Killer” Probably Isn’t!

The newly announced Windows 10 S doesn’t appear to be much of a threat to Google Chrome OS.

Google isn’t afraid of Microsoft’s Chromebook clone, for obvious reasons

BRG – By: Mike Wehner – “Google’s Chrome OS and Chromebook computers are a bit hit among students from high school through college, thanks in no small part to their extreme affordability, ease of use, and overall simplicity. Yesterday, Microsoft announced Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of its ubiquitous operating system designed with students in mind, along with the sleek, lightweight Surface Laptop. With Microsoft making such an obvious attempt to impose on the Chromebook market, you might expect Google to be on the defensive. Well, they’re not, and in an interview with Business Insider, one Google executive even boasted that Microsoft’s announcements were ‘validation.’

Google’s Prabhakar Raghavan, vice-president and head of G Suite apps, told the website that Windows 10 S and Microsoft’s overall strategy is just proof that Google is already doing the right thing when it comes to computers. ‘I’m happy to see validation of the approach we’ve taken,’ Raghavan said. ‘What educational institutions have demanded is simplicity. It’s a real test tube for all of us, whether it’s Microsoft or any of us, right.’

Judging by what we saw on stage from Microsoft, Google is probably fairly safe in assuming that its Chromebook business is safe, at least for the time being. Microsoft has chosen to go with a remarkably locked-down approach with Windows 10 S, including the inability for the user to change their default web browser (Microsoft Edge is the default) or even their preferred search engine. On top of that, the Surface Laptop, at $999, is twice (and in some cases three or four times) as expensive as some perfectly capable Chromebooks.”

Chromebook Sales Cut Into Windows 10 PC Sales!

I told you this day would come!

Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs

i>PC World – By: Agam Shah – “In a slowing PC market, Chromebooks siphoned market share away from Windows PCs in 2016 as their popularity grew outside the education market.

Chromebook shipments grew by a stunning 38 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Gartner estimated 9.4 million Chromebooks shipped, compared to 6.8 million units in 2015.

The number is just a fraction of overall PC shipments, but growth came in an otherwise down PC market. Overall PC shipments in 2016 were about 270 million units, a decline of about 6.2 percent, according to Gartner.

[ Further reading: Our best Windows 10 tricks, tips and tweaks ]
Looking forward, 2016 may go down as the best year ever for Chromebook shipment growth. Gartner is estimating shipments to continue growing in the coming years but at a slower pace.

In 2017, Gartner is projecting Chromebook shipments to be about 10.9 million units, a growth of about 16.3 percent compared to 2016. In 2018, the shipments will total about 11.9 million units, a growth of 8.6 percent.

Analyst firm IDC has also predicted Chromebook shipments will grow by double-digit percentages in coming years. Most of the Chromebooks are shipping to classrooms in the U.S., Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand.

There is also growing interest in Chromebooks from businesses in the finance and retail sectors. Companies are using Chromebooks as no-frills mobile thin clients, considering they are cheap to deploy and easy to manage, said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner.

Traditional client-server virtual desktops can be expensive to deploy and hard to manage. Conventional thin clients from companies like Dell, HP, and Ncomputing aren’t portable but remain popular as a way to centralize data on servers.

Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS and are targeted at users who do most of their computing on the web. They are popular in classrooms because they are rugged, low-cost and fit into the limited budgets of schools. Schools are switching to Chromebooks from the expensive and fragile iPad.

The iPad had limited use for educators, many of whom need a keyboard, Kitagawa said.

While popular in the U.S., Chromebooks still haven’t broken through in international markets, especially in Asia, Kitagawa said.

Some basic problems, like a lack of cellular modems, are holding back the adoption of Chromebooks. Chromebooks today are reliant on Wi-Fi, which has a strong presence in the U.S. but not developing countries, Kitagawa said.

Google, however, is taking steps to grow in international markets. Android is popular worldwide, and many new Chromebooks support apps downloaded from the Google Play store. Newer Chromebooks have touchscreens to run Android apps.

Microsoft this week announced Windows 10 S OS to counter the growing popularity of Chromebooks. Windows 10 S will run applications downloadable from the Windows App store, similar to Chromebooks.

Also, like Chromebooks, teachers will be able to easily set up Windows 10 S laptops. Laptops with Windows 10 S will be priced starting at around US$189 will begin shipping in the coming months.”

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.”