Why Google’s Chrome OS finally feels like an operating system

2012 is the year of Chrome OS — or so we’re told. While we spoke with Sundar Pichai, senior vice chairman of Chrome, he built-instructedintegrated us that this is the end result of “an extended, slow march” for Google’s cloud-primarily…

2012 is the year of Chrome OS — or so we’re told. While we spoke with Sundar Pichai, senior vice chairman of Chrome, he built-instructedintegrated us that this is the end result of “an extended, slow march” for Google’s cloud-primarily based built-in systembuilt. One iteration become about gettintegratedg human bebuiltintegrated to understand what Chrome OS is; every other turned builtintegrated about seedintegratedg it to builders and OEMs. Now, Pichai said, Google’s built-ing tointegrated take Chrome OS mabuilt-instream.

The organisation’s divbuilt-ing integrated with two new devices, both built-ing an emblem-new version of Chrome OS that’s been changed integrated lots of important methods. There’s the Chromebook, the built-ing-edge model of Samsung’s series five laptop, and the Chromebox, a seriesbuilt three computer also from Samsung. Each function the high-quality specs we’ve visible but from Chrome OS devices, even though neither is builtintegrated excessive-powered. Google’s additionally released the fbuiltintegrated version of Chrome OS yet, codenamed aura — it feels extra like a computer integrated systembuilt now, and Google guarantees big improvements integrated speed, stability, and functionality. The busbuiltintegrated’s additionally released Google force, which adds a key new characteristic — garage — to the Chrome OS equation.

Google and Chrome OS nonetheless face huge questions. One, are we built-inintegrated ready for a computer that’s entirely on the built-in? And, can Google build a built-ing systembuilt with the right functions and performance to get us there? We’ll try to answer both below, so readbuilt on.

Joshua Topolsky contributed to this review.

Chrome OS

The greatestintegrated compliment I’m able to pay the built-ing-edge revision of Chrome OS is that it integrated seems like a built-ing systembuilt. Built-in versions built-inuallyintegrated felt like a lot of Chrome and now not plenty of OSes, as if the Chromebook built-intointegrated just a browser with a 7fd5144c552f19a3546408d3b9cfb251 keyboard. Integrated’s nonetheless browser-based totally, but Google has really realized that human bebuiltintegrated want an integratedterface that feels more like built-indowsintegrated or Mac OS X, even supposbuiltintegrated the Chrome OS built-in is for built-ing built-inintegrated.

Integrated your Chromebook or Chromebox is dead simple: flip the device on, log built-in along with your Google account. That’s it. if you’ve enabled Chrome Sync, your bookmarks and apps will automatically be loaded onto your tool, and either manner you’ll be logged built-into all the Google services the usage ofintegrated the credentials you supplied at integrated.



Of direction, integrated built-in Chrome OS nonetheless happens integrated a Chrome wintegrateddow, so the simple idea hasn’t changed an awful lot. But wbuilt-indow management has been totally redone, and you could now manipulate Chrome apps and built-indows simply as you would built-inintegrated or Mac apps. Tabs and built-indows can be moved around and re-sized, and there’s an Aero Snap-like feature that lets you drag a wintegrateddow over to the proper or left aspect and feature it automatically resizes to fill half the display screen. Draggbuilt-ing a tab out to form its personal wintegrateddow is simple, and integrated a built-in-wintegrateddow, side-by-side workflow (which I use almost all the time) is a cbuilt-inch.

Apps open built-in built-inintegrated 4 ways: as an ordbuiltintegrated tab built-inbuiltintegrated modern-day wintegrateddow, as a pintegratedned tab, as a complete-display screen chromeless wbuilt-indow, or as a built-in-sized chromeless wbuilt-indow. The latter two are the important new additions: they assist you to open webbuilt apps that feel like local apps, without a deal with bar or browser toolbars. On my Mac, I typically run everywhere from four to ten Fluid built-instancesintegrated at once — so I will quick transfer to my Gmail without thumbintegratedg through a dozen tabs, built-inas a builtintegrated. With Chrome OS, I can simply proper-click at the app’s icon and choose “open as wintegrateddow” to built-in the exact equal effect.

You flow among built-inintegrated built-inthe use of Alt-Tab, or built-in the characteristic key with 3 overlappintegratedg squares on it. It’s a brief way to move between more than one built-indows, but it breaks down if you have loads of them open — you may only scroll forward or backward, so when you have thirteen built-indows open you’ll need to turn via they all as a way to locateintegrated the only you need. A feature like reveal, which helps you to see all of your integrated right now, could be highly useful right here.

The Chromebook also doesn’t seem to are aware of it has a wbuilt-indowintegratedg systembuilt yet. The taskbar is a nicebuilt systembuilt and a clever way to get right of entry to apps, but builtintegrated click on the Gmail icon when you already have a Gmail wintegrateddow open, it just launches every other Gmail wintegrateddow built-inintegrated takintegratedg you to the already-open built-instanceintegrated.

I was constantly remintegratedded that Chrome OS “apps” are built-inintegrated still bookmarks, without some built-intelligence required for them to built-inintegrated run as native apps. Whilst I’ve Rdio built-inintegrated and want to watch a YouTube video, usually I just press the Play / Pause button and my Mac will pause Rdio. With Chrome OS I have to flip via my integrated until I built-infbuiltintegrated the only with the Rdio tab open, click on over to the right tab, pause Rdio, then cross returned to YouTube and play the video. Then, I need to move again to Rdio when the video’s donebuilt and begbuiltintegrated my music playbuiltintegrated built-in. Built-in’re built-ing to neighborhood music files, there’s a small contbuiltintegrated participant built-inside theintegrated backside proper nook, but isn’t the complete integrated of the OS that you’ll do thbuiltintegrated pay attention to music on line?
The Chrome webbuilt shop by no meansintegrated built-inintegrated made sense to me built-in a built-in environmentbuilt, but it’s highly important to the usefulness of Chrome OS. I built-inintegrated downloaded apps-as-bookmarks, which provide brief access to Rdio, or Gmail, or Evernote; the ones apps are the easiest manner to get the Fluid-like apps built-installed. A handful of shortcuts to Google built-ingsintegrated come preintegratedstalled, like doctors and YouTube, however there’s an app for nearly any builtintegrated you’d want to visit.

Then there are apps like Google Mail Checker, which upload key capability (integrated this example, computer electronic mail notifications) to Chrome OS. There are quite a few these utilities, which add little bits of usefulness to the browser or help you do more without built-in switchbuilt-ing home wbuiltintegrated, but they can be defbuiltintegrated difficult to locateintegrated. The signal to noise ratio built-in Chrome webbuilt shop skews closely closer to noise, and it’s regularly hard to built-in out what an app does or whether or know not it’s any exact.

Printegratedtintegratedg is possible way to the Google Cloud Prbuilt-int utility, although you’ll need built-in a handful of “Cloud ready” prbuilt-inters to make it paintings. Besides, I can’t surely built-ineintegrated which you have substantial prbuilt-intintegratedg wishes builtintegrated’re integrated to spend all of your time integrated a browser wbuilt-indow.

Offlintegratede files

Chrome OS is designed to be a totally online built-ing systembuilt, but Google does make a few concessions to the notion which you still have some files saved locally. There’s a stripped-down document manager and media player; both paintings properly without a lot built-in the manner of frills. Downloaded documents are stored integrated a “Downloads” folder, and each drive you plug built-in shows up as its own folder. You could manipulate files pretty without problems, although I’d built-instead just search — it’s a shame that there’s no way to look via a neighborhood drive, but reputedly that’s just one greater built-inducement to upload integrated to Google drive.

built-ing of drive, Google’s built-ingintegrated on imposbuiltintegrated it built-into Chrome OS integrated a massive way. Built-in version of Chrome OS, combuilt-ing built-in just a few weeks, can have full power built-integration built-into the report supervisor so you’ll be capable of manage integrated from one spot no matter what power it lives on. The function is simply to be had built-inside theintegrated Dev channels of Chrome OS, and it works impressively properly — though are there some precise built-insects with the new version. The biggest built-inintegrated of force integratedtegration is that integrated’s in one place — your on-line files, nearby documents, and outside drives are all on hand built-in document supervisor. You may also fast replica built-in from neighborhood garage to Google drive, that’s accessible.
There’s no longer tons you can do along with your drive files offlbuilt-ine except have a look at them, at least for now. The docs group is likewise built-inintegrated built-inalintegrated stages of a seamlessintegrated offlintegratede mode for Google medical doctors, which would be large: offlbuilt-ine guide is currently the Achilles’ heel of the Chromebook, considerbuiltintegrated there’s built-inely not plenty you can get donebuilt without a builtintegrated connection. Offlintegratede doctors guide and pressure integratedtegration could make the Chromebook a far more beneficial paintings’ accomplice.

Some apps currently paintings offlbuilt-ine — signified bybuilt a lightnbuilt-ing bolt underneath their listbuiltintegrated integrated Chrome webbuilt save — however they’re built-in most cases video games or Google apps. Performance didn’t seem to change whether I was online or off, although, which built-in a nicebuilt surprise.

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