A lot of what we all do with our computers these days is online. A very large proportion of us forego the comfort of an email client and rely instead on a web based mail service such as Gmail or outlook.com. In recent years there has been a big push from a lot of big name companies — the likes of Google, Adobe and Microsoft — to encourage their customers to work increasingly in the cloud.
It is likely that the widespread use of webmail has helped to make the idea of breaking away from the confines of desktop software, but the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets can probably also claim some responsibility. The ability to work on the move on a smaller-screened device is obviously very liberating, but there are new considerations to keep in mind. It is all well and good being able to work away from the desktop, but there will probably come a time when you want to work on a regular computer rather than a portable device. Of course, you can plug your phone or tablet into your computer and copy files back and forth as required… but this is too much like hard work!
Yesterday, Google unveiled the latest addition to its Chromebook family: the Chromebook Pixel. Grabbing headlines with a starting sticker price of $1299, the device features a MacBook Pro-like high-resolution display and a price tag to match.
In this article, we’re going take a look at the Chromebook Pixel, how it stacks up to similar devices, and question why exactly the crew in Mountain View even bothered sending it to retail.
Oh Google. You startup so many new projects, and yet fail to see so many of them through to the end. Case in point, at least possibly: Chromebooks.
Chromebooks were supposed to be a new category of netbooks that only ran Chrome. They were netbooks with only a web browser. It doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, per se, but even as folks who review web apps for a living, none of our team could imagine getting rid of our Macs and PCs for a Chromebook. There’s still too many things we need native apps for.
Even Google didn’t seem so sold out on the idea of Chromebooks. After all, they also make Android for tablets, which has both a browser and native apps. Chromebooks could have been interesting if they were cheaper, but for the most part, they cost the same as PC netbooks, and often weren’t much cheaper than the iPad or larger Android tablets. In fact, with the iPad 2’s discounted price, they’re almost neck-to-neck on price.
Last year, around 30% of our readers said they’d wait and see if they wanted a Chromebook. That’s why we’re wondering: did you ever try one out? Do you still use it, or did it become an expensive paperweight? Would you still consider getting one today?
Google, in association with Samsung and Acer, is launching the new Chromebooks today, a set of notebooks that run Google’s cloud-based operating system. If you’ve already seen all the coverage of what exactly the Chromebook is, including on AppStorm, you’ll know that a Chromebook has no local storage, and all applications are in fact web apps, just like the type we review here.
The Chrome Web Store is, as Jarel Remick explains, a marketplace for web applications that puts regular apps into a marketplaces with ratings and reviews. If you’re a new Chromebook user (or, anyone who’s started using the Chrome browser), today’s review might help you in choosing which apps should be your first install and could be the ticket to replacing a traditional computer.
Tomorrow, Google’s new Chromebooks will be released on Amazon and retailers around the nation. After years of speculation about a Google OS, the online giant has finally entered the mainstream OS wars against the likes of Apple and Microsoft. Only Google’s Chrome OS is much more limited than Windows and OS X. It runs the Chrome browser, and nothing else.
For many things, Chromebooks may be perfectly fine. With all the great web apps available today, many of us spend most of our days in the browser anyhow. But there’s a reason the iOS and Mac App Store are selling more software than ever: native apps are usually still more feature-full and speedy. Plus, there are still times when our internet goes down or we’re out of signal range.
Still, having a secondary computer that boots almost instantly and gives a great browsing experience is very compelling. That’s one of the biggest reasons tablets like the iPad and ones running Google’s own Android are increasingly popular as a secondary computer. Google’s put themselves in the odd position of competing against themselves with Android Honeycomb and Chrome OS.
So, are you ready to take the leap to using only a browser, or will you be sticking with your Mac or PC for now? Or are you going to turn your laptop or netbook into a Chromebook with the third-party versions such as Chrome OS Flow?
Google is set to co-launch the Chromebook, a new category of computing, alongside Samsung and Acer this month. To recap for anyone who hasn’t already seen our coverage, a Chromebook is a notebook that runs only Google’s entirely cloud-based OS, Chrome OS. Two models, with WiFi or WiFi + 3G connectivity, will be available internationally on the mid-June release with special business and education programs available to help bulk customers distribute the costs.
However, there was another smaller announcement made during Google’s recent set of presentations – the Chromebox. The Chromebox is a so-called “nettop” that looks and feels like a Mac Mini, but runs the same cloud-based operating system. Naturally, I don’t think anyone sees this as a real desktop alternative, but it might have some indirect potential that could make it a true contender in certain markets. (more…)
Angry Birds is quite literally, a phenomenon. It’s strange how many people have shed countless hours of their time by flinging angered birds at virtual pigs protected by structures of varying size and type. The Rovio Mobile studio, developers of the popular game, started with humble beginnings in 2003 as Relude, being renamed in 2005 as Rovio. In December of 2009, less than a year-and-a-half ago, they launched Angry Birds and I don’t think they at all expected it to become this big.
Angry Birds was originally launched on Apple’s platform, the iPhone, from launch and was later joined by Android, webOS and Symbian in 2011. It made the jump to mainstream traditional computers in 2011 with the launch of the Mac App Store and the Intel App Up store for Windows.
With Google’s impending launch of their Chromebooks and the continuing success of Chrome, Rovio Mobile’s Mighty Eagle Peter Vesterbacka took the stage at Google I/O this year to announce Angry Birds coming as a web application. Although it is available primarily through the Chrome Web Store, anyone can point their browsers to chrome.angrybirds.com to launch the same web app.
Most of us spend more and more time each day in our browsers. We’ve dropped email clients for Gmail, write in Tumblr and WordPress more than Word, tweak pictures in Photoshop.com and Aviary, and more. YouTube and Netflix are the default place most people go to watch videos, and when you need to find something in a book, chances are you can find it in Google Books. The browser has taken over our computing life, and thanks to the recent speed improvements in browsers that was spearheaded by the Google Chrome team with V8, many web apps now feel nearly as fluid as native applications.
With all the advancements, though, are you ready to use just your browser with no other native apps? Google seems to think the computing world is ready to shift to using only web apps, and has turned their Chrome browser into a full Linux-powered operating system. The new Chromebooks will be ready to hit the shelves this summer, so let’s see what Chrome OS has to offer.