Google Galore: Chrome Web Store, Chrome OS & Cloud Print

Google always seems to be releasing new apps or app updates but in the last few days they’ve released quite a few goodies, and pretty big ones at that. The long awaited Chrome Web Store is finally here, more details on Chrome OS and Google’s testing laptops were released and google released Cloud Print connecting printers to the cloud.

That’s not all Google has released in the last few days but these are pretty big ones. Read on for more details on these Google goodies.

Chrome Web Store

Google’s Chrome Web Store is finally here and it’s already filled with lots of fantastic web apps. It’s a new day for the web app world now that they have a place to call home; gathered, rated, reviewed and more. As the web has developed, so has the need for a directory and marketplace for these increasingly powerful web apps and Google is filling that need.

Chrome Web Store

Chrome Web Store

While many of the apps in the Chrome Web Store are nothing more than bookmarks to some of our favorite apps, there’s a few that are taking advantage of Chrome and new HTML5 technologies. Give it some time and the Chrome Web Store will soon be sporting more apps taking advantage of these new offerings.

We’ve seen how successful app stores are and hopefully the Chrome Web Store will follow the same trend. A marketplace such as this opens the world of web apps to people who might otherwise never find such useful and fun apps. It also opens the door to a greater degree for developers to earn more from their apps. People have a centralized place to shop for web apps and developers will supply.

Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Look at Aviary rocking the Photos Collection!

What do you think of the Chrome Web Store? Do you have any favorite apps yet? Check back tomorrow for our roundup of awesome Chrome web apps.

Chrome OS

Chrome OS, another long awaited Google product, was just recently released as well. It’s exciting as it marks the beginning of full-on cloud-based notebooks that’s backed by someone as big as Google. You won’t be able to purchase notebooks running Chrome OS just yet, but they’re coming soon. Meanwhile, Google is running a pilot program for early testing on their Cr-48 Chrome Notebook.

Chrome Notebook

Chrome Notebook

The Chrome notebook (Cr-48) sports the following specs.

  • 10 second boot with instant sleep/resume
  • 12.1-inch screen at 1280×800
  • Dual-core Atom processor
  • Wi-Fi 802.11n & 3G
  • Flash based storage
  • Webcam
  • Over 8 hours of active usage and 1 week of standby time
  • 3.8lbs, 0.9-inch thick
  • VGA, (1x) USB, 3.5mm headphone jack and SD card reader

Engadget has an in-depth look with video of the notebook, but if you’d like to get one of these bad boys you’ll have to apply for the pilot program here.

If you want to give the Chrome OS a try before getting your hands on an official Chrome OS running notebook, you can download a build from UK student Hexxeh that’s auto-updating and ready to run from a USB drive.

Check out some of Google’s fun videos on Chrome OS via the Google Chrome YouTube channel.

Why a Cloud-Only Notebook?

Just the other day I was on the phone with my sister discussing notebooks and what she needs in a notebook as she’s in the market for one. She was telling me she only needs something that can run a browser as all she needs or wants to do is check her email, peruse Facebook, upload photos and read some news.

All she needs is a browser. Chrome OS is just that—a powerful, more advanced browser. She’s not the first I’ve heard that from either. Many other friends and family have said the same thing, yet they all end up with software bloated systems that’s hardly put to good use beyond the browser. A cloud-only notebook just makes sense!

Would you use the Chrome OS notebook? Do you already live in the web?

Cloud Print

Going along with the Chrome Web Store and Chrome OS, Google released Cloud Print which bridges the gap between the cloud and printers. Currently traditional desktop software such as Windows and OS X have tons of drivers for the many different kinds of printers available. If you think about it, that’s a pretty inefficient and constrained way of using printers.

Cloud Print

Cloud Print

Cloud Print enables any app, whether web, desktop or mobile, to print to any cloud-connected printer—anywhere. Your computer, notebook, mobile device or other system wouldn’t need printer drivers any more, they’ll be taken care of by the Cloud Print service. You’ll be able to connect to your printers just like documents in Google Docs with your Google login.

It’s about time someone developed this and it’s silly we’ve been doing it in such a difficult way for so long!

The Combined Goal

Combining all these new products brings us far closer to the end goal—full-on cloud computing. Were not there yet, but we’re getting a lot closer and Google’s products are making it much more feasible. Remember, not that long ago the concept of all your documents being created, edited and managed via the web seemed silly to many. Now just look at the number of people only using Google Docs or other similar services.

It might not be too long before people are ditching their expensive, inefficient systems in favor of all out cloud computing. How long do you think it will be before you’re running solely on web apps? Be sure to check out some of Google’s fun videos via the Google Chrome YouTube channel.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the Chrome Web Store, Chrome OS and Google’s other similar products and services so stay tuned.