Chrome/OS Overview Updated July 20, 2017

Chrome/OS

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888 Chrome/OS stories

May 2011 - July 2017


Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Google Chrome is the most widely used desktop browser in the world. Since its launch in 2008, Chrome has expanded to Android, iOS, and is the basis of a cloud-based operating system.

History

Chrome was developed out of frustration at the state of browsers that limited Google’s increasingly complex web apps. In creating its own browser, Google could push the state of the web and build the best experience for its products.

Launched in September for Microsoft Windows, Chrome quickly gained 1% of the total desktop market share by the end of the year. A developer preview in 2009 brought Chrome to Mac OS X and Linux, but a stable version was not available until May 2010. In November 2011, Chrome overtook Firefox in worldwide usage and in September 2012 became the most widely used web browser beating Internet Explorer.

In July 2009, Google announced a project to build an operating system that stored applications and user data in the cloud. The thin client OS was publicly demoed in November, but it was not until 2011 that the first Chromebooks shipped from OEM partners.

A beta version of Google Chrome for Android launched in February 2012, with a stable version ready by June. Google also released an iOS version, but it is limited technically due to security restrictions enforced by Apple.

Features |

Chrome shares many of the same features and underlying technology across all platforms. The browser and OS maintain version number parity across all platforms. Every six weeks a major version is released to the Stable Channel and a new developer version is introduced in the Canary Channel. A Beta Channel acts as an intermediary way to access new features without too many bugs.

Security

The automatic Chrome update system downloads updates in the background and insures that users are always on the latest version of Chrome. There are many minor patches between between major updates that delivers security fixes and keeps users secure. Chrome maintains a Safe Browsing blacklist of malicious sites that pop up a bright red warning so users can turn back.

Tabs are sandboxed to make sure processes cannot interacting with critical memory functions and other processes. Besides for security, a multi-process architecture gives each site and plug-in a separate process. As such, a crash will only take down that tab and not the entire application.

Since the first version, Chrome has had a private browsing feature. Incognito mode prevents the browser from storing cookies or history and can be opened alongside regular tabs.

Interface

The main Chrome interface has remained mostly the same over the years. In fact, the ‘Chrome’ name refers to the lack of UI elements and a focus on the browsing experience. An Omnibox acts as both the URL bar and search box. At the time, many browsers had two separate fields right next to each other. The Omnibox has prediction capabilities to help users find what they are looking for and is also present on the mobile apps.

Android apps

Later this year, Android apps and the Play Store will arrive on Chrome OS. Google previously experimented using ARC Welder to virtualize the Android run time and allowed apps to run on all platforms, including Mac, Windows, and Linux. The latest approach is limited to Chrome OS, but provides a much more native and fast experience. Apps open up as windows and can become phone or tablet-sized. Touchscreen Chromebooks will provide the best experience.

Chrome/OS Stories Yesterday

GOOG: 968.15

-2.74

The Chrome OS project is always getting updated, with new code commits happening every day. While most of these are just bug fixes or other improvements to the operating system, sometimes these commits hint at something new coming soon. The latest commits hint at two things: the ability to take notes straight from the lock screen and the ability to detect when a Chrome OS stylus’ button has been pressed…

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Late last month a new commit in Chrome OS’s code gave us a hint that Google was working on a new high-end Chromebook called “Eve.” Along with it, code was found that hinted at Google Assistant coming to Chrome OS and a dedicated physical button to launch it. New code commits have now been discovered that point to a keyboard shortcut for launching Assistant on older Chromebooks as well as new top-row keyboard shortcuts…

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Chrome/OS Stories July 12

GOOG: 943.83

13.74

ASUS’ new USB-C equipped Chromebook Flip C213 will be available for $349

We’ve seen a few new Chromebooks hit the market in 2017, but the majority have been focused toward education, and for good reason. The latest to hit the market comes from ASUS with the new Chromebook Flip C213.

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Chrome/OS Stories July 7

GOOG: 918.59

11.90

As Chrome OS continues to evolve, Google continues to adjust what it offers in terms of features and the UI. Currently, Google is testing out a significant change to the OS for the sake of 2-in-1 machines — a brand new, touch-friendly launcher.

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A lot of people have a negative outlook on Google’s Chrome OS ecosystem, but with a new slew of hardware for 2017 and a ton of major improvements to the OS and what it is capable of, everyone has good reason to give Google’s OS another look.

One of the best machines running Chrome OS is the Samsung Chromebook Pro. The $549 machine can, and should, be looked at as a flagship device, showing off the best this platform has to offer. After using it for a few weeks, I can definitely say it lives up to that. Here are a five reasons why you should consider buying it.

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Chrome/OS Stories June 27

GOOG: 927.33

-24.94

Google Assistant continues to expand to more products and it’s looking more and more like Chromebooks are the next stop for Google’s take on AI. Rumors hit the web early this year that Google would be making this move and now a Chromebook in development is giving us a lot more evidence that this is happening.

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