Chrome/OS Overview Updated December 12, 2018

Chrome/OS

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1,241 'Chrome/OS' stories

May 2011 - December 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 Today

Qualcomm has been more than happy in recent weeks to demonstrate various new use cases for their Snapdragon processors, including being used for a Windows computer. This may soon extend into the realm of Chrome OS, with the company’s first ever Chromebook, powered by the Snapdragon 845. Now, Geekbench benchmarks have appeared for the device, though with surprisingly low scores.

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Chrome/OS Stories December 10

Microsoft ‘intends’ for its Chromium-based Edge browser to support existing Google Chrome extensions

Just last week, Microsoft revealed that it would be shifting its Edge browser built into Windows 10 to run on Chromium. Now, it’s been confirmed that, with this new version, Microsoft Edge will support Google Chrome extensions. At least, that’s the idea anyway.

Chrome/OS Stories December 6

Microsoft confirms Edge rewrite based on Google’s Chromium for ‘improved compatibility’

Earlier this week, it was reported that Microsoft would be basing their next browser on the same Chromium base used by Google Chrome. Today, Microsoft has stepped in to clarify that Edge, the Windows 10 default browser is not being replaced, but rewritten, with a Chromium base. The company also shared what this means both for users and for the company themselves.

Chrome/OS Stories December 5

One of the key features of Chrome OS is its built-in search capabilities (Google is a search engine company, after all), which can show you web results in addition to matching apps. Now this Chrome OS search box is getting two improvements to make Android apps more dynamic thanks to Firebase App Indexing and make finding your installed Linux apps easier.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Chrome/OS Stories December 4

Following the Mac, Windows, and Linux release, Chrome 71 is now rolling out to Android. On the security front, the browser will block ads on persistently offending sites. There are also other user protections against malicious web experiences, while developers can customize the fullscreen appearance of web apps.

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The latest version of Google Chrome is rolling out today for Mac, Windows, and Linux. On desktops, Chrome 71 introduces a number of features that developers can take advantage of, while the browser will now block abusive ads from persistently offending sites.

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