Chromebooks continue to acquire new offline functionality
Adding to the still small, albeit growing, list of things that can be done on a Chromebook while it’s offline, Google earlier this week updated the Google Play Movies & TV Chrome app with support for offline media playback. Coming at a time when Chromebook availability is being expanded to nine new countries, the ability to watch your favorite movies and TV shows when stuck with a Chromebook without internet access is definitely a positive development from both the standpoint of usability and marketability.
Chromebooks didn’t exactly take the world by storm when they first hit the market. Far from being an instant hit, they were widely panned for their limited functionality. They have clearly come a long way since then, though. The over 2 million Chromebooks that were shipped in 2013 are a testament to how much Chrome OS has matured since its early days, when it was probably nothing more than an overhyped browser. Now, the cloud-based OS is all set to tick another key box: document scanning support.
HP goes against the grain with 14-inch Pavilion Chromebook
Chrome OS finally seems to be getting some attention from top PC vendors. Close on the heels of Lenovo’s recent announcement of its maiden Chromebook, a spec sheet detailing HP's first Chrome OS device was discovered on the PC and printing ink behemoth's website on Monday.
Acer quietly launched its second Chromebook, the C7, earlier this month, making it available through Google Play, BestBuy.com and Best Buy stores. Now, according to the Taiwanese PC maker, the $199 Chrome OS-running device has become popular enough to force some other e-tailers to begin selling it.
Let's be honest, the little things that usually titillate our geek glands are unlikely to do so while we wait with bated breath for the release of some “exciting” data from NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover. The Chrome team nonetheless decided to push some new features to the Chrome OS Developer channel a few days back.
The first Chromebooks from the likes of Acer and Samsung are scheduled to begin shipping on June 15. But a little known Australian company has beaten the two vendors to the Chome/Chromium OS laptop punch. Australia’s Kogan is already taking orders for a 12-inch Chromium OS laptop called Agora, which it expects to begin shipping on June 7. Hit the jump for more on the world’s first Chromium OS notebook.
In a season of outages, when internet-based services seem to be having a tough time staying online, the last thing anyone wants to talk about is an upcoming cloud-based operating system. But that is exactly what we are about to do. MPC readers, let us ignore the bone-chilling horrors of the past week that are otherwise likely to linger with many of you for a long time, so that we can concentrate on reports of an upcoming Chrome OS netbook from Samsung called “Alex.” The existence of this netbook came to light through a Chromium bug report. Hit the jump for specs.
It's been well over a month since Google finished distributing the entire quota of 60,000 Cr-48 Chrome notebooks reserved for Chrome OS pilot program participants, and the mid-2011 launch of retail devices promised by the company doesn't seem too far off now - just as long as the river of time keeps flowing at its familiar rate. But wait, what if there is yet another delay like the one that pushed retail Chrome OS devices to mid-2011 from late 2010? Pretty unlikely, according to our friends over at Neowin.
While it can be difficult to reconcile yourself with the reprehensible acts of violence that gadgets are being subjected to these days by eyeball-desperate Youtubers, there are times when such antics leave behind a lot more than just hugely popular videos and the fragmented remains of these devices. A case in point is the pulverization of the maiden Chrome OS device, the Google Cr-48, by the guys over at Will it Blend? -- a blender-happy outfit that likes to grind to pulp or dust pretty much everything they can lay their hands on.
Upon receiving their Cr-48 from Google, they asked themselves the question that drives their very existence: “Will it blend?” The Cr-48 was quickly squeezed into one of their trusted blenders and reduced to smoking dust in a few seconds.
In the video, the blender operator expresses happiness over the fact that his information is still secure in the cloud. But he leaves us with a thought provoking question: “I wonder where the cloud is?” I believe this is one question that a lot of us have been asking ourselves, haven’t we?
Instead, the company has restricted the Intel Atom-based device to Google employees and those accepted into the Chrome OS Pilot Program, implying that the Cr-48 is just a pilot device. According to the internet titan, Chrome OS is still not a finished product and that user feedback is needed to lend finishing touches to the software.
“Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers. Instead we’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications,” the Google Chrome team said in a blog post.
The Cr-48 features a 12.1-inch screen, integrated 3G from Verizon, Wi-Fi, and a full-sized keyboard and touch pad. The pilot program will also include 100MB of free data per day for two years, with the option of additional data through paid plans starting at $9.99. The pilot program is currently only restricted to applicants from the United States, but will gradually be expanded to other countries.
According to Taiwanese site Digitimes, the Cr-48 is being manufactured by Inventec, which has already shipped 60,000 units of the device to Google. The first mass market Chrome OS devices will be available in the first half of next year.