Android Police has spotted a new feature in the Chrome OS dev channel that could one day allow users to unlock devices running Chrome OS by simply having their phone near the computer. The feature, which is still in a very early beta, is dubbed “Easy Unlock.” With this feature, your Chromebook could sense when your phone is nearby and Easy Unlock would automatically unlock the Chromebook, preventing the need to enter your password.
If you’ve been wanting to try a Chromebook, but have held off due to their need for an internet connection, Best Buy might have a remedy for your dilemma. The blue and yellow big box is currently knocking $100 off HP’s 11.6″ LTE Chromebook, bringing its asking price to $199. The device is backed by Verizon’s LTE network, you’ll pretty much have internet access anywhere in the US.
Hot on the heels of Samsung’s announcement of its new “Milk” streaming music service, Google has announced that it will be offering 60 days of free access to its Play Music All Access service to certain users, as well as anyone who owns a Chromebook.
Normally, the service runs $9.99 a month for the premium plan. Play Music All Access allows users to access a library of millions of on-demand tracks on any Android device. Prior to this offer, Google was offering 30 days of free usage, but the company has graciously doubled that for a limited time.
If you’ve been wanting to try Play Music All Access, keep an eye on your inbox for two free months of the service.
Samsung’s new Chromebooks leaked a little bit last week and again over the weekend, but now they are official. The biggest upgrades include the form factor featuring the faux leather stitching made famous by its Galaxy Note 3 and a new 1080P 13-inch display on the higher end $399 model. Both still use Exynos 5 Octocore processors that lack a little bit of the oomph of Haswell Intel processors, but they compete very well in battery life (8.5-9 hours claimed by Samsung). These machines also have wake times of less than one second and cold boots in less than ten.
Another prime area of improvement is the Hangouts video chat experience enhance by a 720P front side camera paired with improved mic and 2x 2W speakers. Read more
Google has announced an experimental feature in the developer version of Chrome OS that allows you to access more than one user profile at the same time, easily flicking between them, as well as passing both tabs and files back-and-forth between profiles.
Switching profiles is as easy as clicking on the profile picture in the system tray popup. [...] One nice thing, but still highly experimental, is that you can move windows to different profiles with a simple right click in the window top bar. As you can see in the video, even the Files App even supports this feature.
To access the feature in the Chrome OS dev channel, enter the following line:
If you’re not currently using the dev channel, you can find instructions for switching here, but note that by definition you can expect to experience some glitches. The stable channel is always recommended when working on anything important.
If you’re looking to give Google’s ChromeOS a try, the 11.6″ HP LTE-equiped Chromebook may be your best option right now. The non-LTE version of the Chromebook usually sells for $279, but the LTE model is actually available now for only $249. The connectivity isn’t the only difference between the two, either. The LTE model comes with 16 GB of flash storage while the more expensive, less-capable version uses a standard hard drive of the same size.
Both come with 2 GB of RAM, a 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos processor, built-in webcam, support for 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and weigh only 2.3 pounds. Both models are also available in a range of colors. Obviously, the connectivity differs between the two, as the LTE model comes with support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network.