Chrome OS update brings credit card info autofill, physical keyboard autocorrect, more

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Google this evening has started rolling out an update to the stable channel of Chrome OS that bumps it to version 43.0.2357.81. The update brings a handful of new features that are certain to please Chrome OS users. First off, Chrome OS can now autofill credit card information from Google Wallet to browser fields that ask for such information. Other browsers, such as Safari on OS X, offer features similar to this.

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Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer confirms Android M for this year, talks Android and Chrome OS convergence, more

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Prior to this week’s Google I/O developers’ conference in San Francisco, Google’s Vice President of Engineering for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer sat down with Fast Company to talk about the current state (and the future) of Android, Chrome OS, and more. Lockheimer confirmed the upcoming announcement of Android M, and offered much insight into where Android came from, where it’s going, and how it’s evolving in a world with more and more interconnected devices…

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Gartner: Chromebook sales up 24 percent over 2014, still huge in education

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Gartner today released the results of a report finding that Chromebooks in 2015 have continued to see double-digit year-over-year growth for Google with education still as the primary market for browser-based computers. 7.3 million Chromebook units are expected to be sold in 2015, a 27 percent increase over 2014, while 72 percent of those sales are expected to be from the education sector.

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In the above chart breaking down Chromebook sales for 2014 by region and segment, you can see education held the lion’s share in all the major markets Google sells to, with consumer sales coming in second, and sales to the business segment trailing far behind – save for in Asia Pacific, where those latter two are reversed. Read more

Chrome 43 Beta launches, Chrome OS updated w/ redesigned Files interface, updated calculator app, more

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Chrome 43 Beta is making its official debut today on a variety of platforms (including Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS), and with it comes several new features—with MIDI for Web being perhaps the most notable.

Google has also this evening announced an update to Chrome OS that bumps it to version 42.0.2311.87. The update, which comes on the heels of Chrome 42, adds a handful of new features and visual changes. First off, the Files app has been refreshed to feature a Material Design interface…

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Acer announces Chromebase w/ touch screen, sends invites to April 23 event

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Acer has today announced the latest addition to Google’s Chrome OS lineup with a new Chromebase all-in-one desktop with a touch screen. The announcement comes following the company’s introduction of the very first 15-inch Chromebook earlier this year, which like this device, was first of its kind.

The company has also sent invites to an event taking place at the World Trade Center on April 23rd… Read more

Acer announces first 15-inch Chromebook with Core i3 processor, 1080p display

To kick off CES 2015, Acer has announced its first ever 15-inch Chromebook. The 15.6-inch screen makes it the biggest Chromebook released to date, but keeping trend with other Chromebooks on the market, the device is still affordable, starting at $250. Acer’s 15.6-inch Chromebook comes in at a hefty 4.85 pounds, which means you probably won’t want to move this one around too much once you get it.

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Developers can now run Linux in its own window on Chrome OS

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Google’s Francois Beaufort has revealed in a post on Google+ that Chrome OS users can now run Linux on their machines in a desktop window. This means that developers don’t have to switch back and forth between operating systems, but rather can run them side by side. This capability is made possible by the Crouton Chrome extension, which is available on the Chrome Web Store for free.

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Google adds always-listening ‘OK Google’ voice activation to Chromebooks

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While “OK Google” capability has been available in the form of a Chrome extension for quite some time now, those using it had to be on a specific page within Chrome for the browser to be listening for the appropriate hot words. Now, Google has pushed—in the dev build of Chrome OS—the option for users to turn on always-listening “OK Google,” which will allow you to use voice activation from anywhere as long as your device is on and unlocked.

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Smart Lock keeps your Chromebook unlocked using your Android Lollipop phone

 

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A new feature called Smart Lock has now made its way to Chromebooks, allowing users to keep their Chrome OS-running laptops unlocked by simply keeping their Lollipop Android phone in relative vicinity. The feature was first introduced earlier this year at Google I/O 2014, and has been part of Lollipop since the OS started rolling out last month. But only just now, about 6 months after it was shown off, is the feature rolling out to Chromebooks (via ComputerWorld) running the Dev Channel of Chrome OS.

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Google bundling 1TB of Drive storage with the purchase of select Chromebooks

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Chromebook’s are becoming a viable option for people with simple computing needs, and while the laptop alternative typically ships with limited local storage, Google often tosses in 100GB of cloud space from Google Drive for two years. But to sweeten the pot this holiday season, the search giant is turning the dial up quite a few notches and tossing in 1TB of Drive storage with the purchase of an eligible Chromebook.

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Asus begins selling its first LTE Chromebook for $200 on a two-year Verizon contract

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It’s not the first LTE Chromebook, but it’s the first from Asus to offer cellular connectivity with sales of the device quietly kicking off at Best Buy and other retailers late last week. Asus doesn’t appear to have made an official announcement, but an LTE version of the C300 Chromebook variant is now selling through Best Buy according to an announcement sent over from Altair Semiconductor, the company providing the LTE chip for the Chromebook: Read more