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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The latest Chrome Dev Channel update adds the ability to check how much of your Chromebook’s battery power is being used by an individual app or website. To access this slick new feature, visit the Settings window and select the “Battery” option under the device section.
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.