Google confirms that a second-generation Chromecast is on the way

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Google’s first Android TV device is less than a fortnight away, however the company’s current television-friendly hardware appears to be doing just fine. In a recent interview with GigaOM, Google VP of product management Mario Queiroz said that Chromecast users have tapped the cast button 650 million times, a significant increase from the 400 million figure shared at I/O back in June.

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ABI Research: Chromebook shipments up 67 percent quarter-over-quarter

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A lot of people are buying Chromebooks, according to a recent report from ABI Research. Shipments for Google’s low-cost laptop alternative increased by 67 percent during the third quarter of 2014 when compared to the previous quarter. But the last three months weren’t the only boost for Chrome OS, as the research firm expects this year’s Chromebook shipments to double last year’s numbers.

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Chrome OS updated with USB file transfer support for Android phones and tablets

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Google updated the Stable channel of Chrome OS today and while the new build ships with its set of token bug fixes, this revised software also introduces support for a highly requested feature. Chromebook owners can now transfer files from Android smartphones and tablets via a USB cable. After several requests, this overdue feature is now available for all Chrome OS devices, excluding Chromeboxes.

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New Intel Broadwell-powered Chrome OS board spotted in Chromium code repository

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A new Chrome OS board named “Auron” based on Intel’s Broadwell chip line recently showed up in the Chromium code repository. Spotted by Googler François Beaufort, this appears to be one of the first devices to use Chipzilla’s 14 nanometer system-on-a-chip. Not a lot is known about this mystery board, but it manages to follow the trend of being named after a popular video game character. Beaufort recently outed a Chrome OS board referred to as “Ryu” from Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise and Auron is a character from the world famous Final Fantasy series.

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Microsoft is ready to challenge Chromebooks with a $200 Windows 8.1-powered alternative

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Microsoft appears to be gearing up to challenge Google’s Chrome OS by partnering with companies to release affordable Windows-based alternative notebooks. Pictured above is the HP Stream 14, a $200 laptop that feels a lot like Redmond’s answer to the Chromebook. From its 14-inch 1,366 x 768 display, to its modest AMD processor, all the way down to its 2GB of RAM, 32GB of flash memory (optional 32GB) and two years of cloud storage from Microsoft’s OneDrive — sound familiar?

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Acer takes on Samsung’s Chromebook 2 with better battery-life & faster graphics for $100 less

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Acer is providing tough competition for Samsung’s Chromebook 2 with its new Chromebook 13, offering 11-hour battery life with full HD display for $100 less. The NVIDIA Tegra K1 2.1GHz quad-core processor should give the 1920×1080 display even better graphics performance than Samsung’s Exynos-powered model, as well as beating its 9-hour battery-life, for $299 against Samsung’s $400.

The downside, as noted by Engadget, is the cheaper-looking casing, being plain white plastic rather than the faux-leather stitching of the Chromebook 2 …  Read more

Google unifying Android and Chromebooks to keep you in its ecosystem

 

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Today during its annual I/O developers conference, Google revealed a bevy of new products and services, however a particular presentation managed to stand out among the rest. Shortly after previewing its next version of Android, the company started talking about Chromebooks. Not exactly the longest segment of the show, Mountain View’s focus appeared to be bridging the gap between Chromebooks and Android.

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Mystery Acer Tegra K1-powered Chromebook outed by Swedish retailer

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A listing for what could be the first Tegra-powered Chromebook may have just been outed by a Swedish retailer. Listed as the Acer Chromebook CB5 13.3″ HD, this unannounced system features a Tegra K1 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD for local storage and a 13.3-inch HD display. At a glance this white Chromebook appears to have a pair of USB ports (presumably USB 3.0) and a 3.5mm audio jack.

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Google+ Photos app update automatically sends Chromebook pics to the cloud

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Chrome OS devices typically run light on local storage space, but as a portal to the internet, they’re often tasked with managing a person’s media experience. So when your growing photo collection starts to outnumber your machine’s gigabyte count, you’ll likely want to move things to the cloud, but this can be a tedious task. Enter the Google+ Photo app. Weighing in at a lean 15.52MB, Mountain View’s new software automatically uploads photos from your SD card to a private Google+ folder, even when the app is closed.

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Google Play Movies & TV now available for Chrome OS, allowing offline playback of Play Store content

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Chrome OS users now have the ability to download and view movies and TV shows from the Google Play Store using the newly-released Play Movies & TV app. The app allows users to manage video libraries without an internet connection, something the operating system has previously been unable to do.

The library can also be synced across multiple desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows PCs, Macs, Android phones, and iOS devies. Chromecast streaming is available to play your downloaded content on an HDTV, and the app has full support for Google’s Info Cards, which display information about the content being played.

You can grab the app for free on the Google Chrome web app store. The full description is below.

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