Chrome/OS Overview Updated February 19, 2018


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1,010 'Chrome/OS' stories

May 2011 - February 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:


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.


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.


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

Chrome 64 rolled out to Android last month with features like sitewide audio muting and most recently an ad blocker. However, the browser also quietly gained a convenient little feature that automatically shortens URLs and converts them to their non-mobile version when sharing.

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With Chrome OS potentially coming to tablet form-factors soon, it makes sense that Google will add features that enhance the Android apps experience. One way it will do this is by adding split-screen functionality for Android apps, which is now available in the Canary channel…

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Chrome/OS Stories February 18

How to stream the 2018 NBA All-Star game live on Chromecast, Android, Chrome OS, and Android TV

Tonight is the 67th NBA All-Star game with Team LeBron facing Team Stephen at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Here’s how to watch the 2018 NBA All-Star game live on Android, Chrome OS, Chromecast, Android TV, and more…

How to stream the 2018 Daytona 500 live on Chromecast, Android, Chrome OS, and Android TV

This year will be the 60th running of the Daytona 500 Nascar race. Held at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, drivers compete head-to-head for over 200 laps. Here’s how to watch the Daytona 500 live on Android, Chrome OS, Chromecast, Android TV, and more…

Chrome/OS Stories February 16

Chrome OS adds ‘Material Design visual indicators’ for browser navigation gestures

Chrome OS has slowly been undergoing a redesign with Google’s Material Design for a while now, and today, well-known Chrome developer, François Beaufort, is revealing another new change.

In case you missed it, Google recently made a change as result of a lawsuit that removed the convenient “view image” button from search results. Now, just a day later, there’s already a Chrome extension that brings it back.

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