Chrome/OS Overview Updated September 19, 2017

Chrome/OS

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915 Chrome/OS stories

May 2011 - September 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.

Recommended Chromebooks:

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 Today

GOOG: 921.81

6.81

We have known for quite some time now that Google has been working on a brand new and more powerful Chromebook codenamed “Eve.” Today, almost every new product that we expected to announce at its October 4 event was leaked, including the “Pixelbook.” Its release will mark a significant shift in Chrome OS’s history because of everything it features, but it will also do so with a starting price of $1,200.

Do you plan on purchasing the Pixelbook Chromebook despite its $1,200 or higher price tag?

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Today has seen a deluge of leaked hardware that will likely be announced at Google’s upcoming October 4th event. Matching last month’s rumor of a new Chromebook Pixel is a leak for the “Google Pixelbook” starting at $1,199 which features a pen accessory.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Chrome/OS Stories September 14

GOOG: 925.00

-10.09

Autoplaying video or audio on the web can be convenient at times and very frustrating at others. To improve the experience, upcoming versions of Google Chrome will make “autoplay more consistent with user expectations” and give more controls for audio.

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Chrome/OS Stories September 11

GOOG: 929.08

2.58

Over the years, Chrome has removed digital certificates from Authorities that it does not trust to guarantee security. Google today announced finalized plans to remove trust from certifications signed by Symantec due to security lapses that jeopardize the web’s system for identifying websites.

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Chrome/OS Stories September 5

GOOG: 928.45

-8.89

Following this afternoon’s rollout to Mac, Windows, and Linux, the latest version of Chrome for Android has hit the stable channel. Version 61 includes several new user-facing features, including an updated Google Translate toolbar and vastly improved contextual Share menu. The bottom bar redesign also appears to be rolling out.

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Chrome 61 rolling out now to Mac, Windows, and Linux w/ new developer APIs

Chrome 61 is rolling out today to desktops in the stable channel with a number of developer-focused features and the usual security fixes. For Mac, Windows, and Linux, it adds a new WebUSB API for peripherals, as well as some minor behavior changes.

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