Chrome/OS Overview Updated May 24, 2018

Chrome/OS

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1,073 'Chrome/OS' stories

May 2011 - May 2018


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 May 24

Google appears to be bringing Chromecast’s ‘Backdrop’ wallpapers to Chrome ‘New Tab’ page

If you’ve ever had a Chromecast, you’re probably familiar with that array of gorgeous wallpapers that show up when the device is idle. Google calls that “Backdrop,” and new code suggests that it could be coming to the company’s Chrome browser at some point…

Chrome/OS Stories May 23

Acer’s new Chromebook Spin 15 is the largest Chrome OS laptop/tablet convertible yet

In addition to launching the Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 this morning, Acer announced larger 15-inch models. The Spin 15 is the more premium version, but the line in general focuses on more casual use cases and media watching, with the Chromebook 15 targeted as being “value-oriented.”

Back in March, Acer and Google announced the first Chromebook tablet aimed at the education market. A first for Chrome OS, Acer is now expanding into the underserved premium laptop form factor with the Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13.

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Chrome/OS Stories May 20

How to stream the 2018 Billboard Music Awards live on Chromecast, Android, Chrome OS, and Android TV

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards are taking place tonight, May 20, 2018, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Here’s how to watch the award show hosted by Kelly Clarkson live on Android, Chrome OS, Chromecast, Android TV, and more…

Chrome/OS Stories May 17

Google has long been a big proponent of pushing HTTPS as seen with the .app top-level domain where security is default and in Search rankings. The biggest adoption drive has been through Chrome, with the browser soon marking all HTTP sites as “Not secure.”

When that fully rolls out, Google will begin phasing out the green “Secure” badge and lock icon as security becomes the default expectation.

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Ready to try the Pixelbook?

Chrome/OS Stories May 15

The tentpole feature in Chrome 66 is a new set of autoplay restrictions aimed at reducing annoying videos that automatically start playing back. However, since it was released last month, the policies have negatively affected games and other web experiences. In response, Google today removed a part of the feature, delaying its launch until later this year.

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