Android is already a flexible platform, but it seems power users will get even more flexibility in the next major update. Thanks to Android 13, phones such as the Pixel 6 are able to run virtual machines for Windows and Linux with better performance and fewer headaches.
Windows Stories February 14
Windows Stories January 5
While Chrome OS is Google’s “desktop” platform for laptops and other computers, many Android users turn to Windows for a more powerful operating system. Google is now fully embracing that trend, with plans to bring Nearby Share and Fast Pair to Windows PCs.
Windows Stories November 2, 2021
The ability to share your copy/paste clipboard between your phone and computer is a neat trick, but one that’s not always been very easy on Android devices. In its latest update, Microsoft has just granted the ability to sync your clipboard across Windows and Android, thanks to SwiftKey.
Windows Stories November 30, 2020
With the recent release of M1-powered Apple Macs and MacBooks that are capable of running iOS apps, it seems as though on the PC side of the fence we may soon see something similar occur. According to Windows Central, Microsoft’s “Project Latte” could see Android apps run on Windows.
Windows Stories October 20, 2020
Windows Stories August 6, 2020
Windows Stories June 16, 2020
The biggest complaint for many regarding Google’s Chrome OS platform has been app support, but that’s apparently changing in the near future. Thanks to an official partnership between Google and Parallels, full apps from Windows are coming to Chrome OS.
Windows Stories May 29, 2020
Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are the most popular Chromium-based browsers, and being based on the same foundation, they see development often shared between the two companies. This week, both Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are picking up support for better spellcheck, thanks to a joint effort.
Windows Stories June 26, 2018
Android Messages for Web went official just last week and so far, it seems like everyone is loving it. Having access to your messages from the desktop is great, but locking it to a tab can be a bit annoying. Thankfully, a third-party developer has managed to build an unofficial desktop client for all major platforms.
Windows Stories April 18, 2018
While the Pixelbook only runs Chrome OS, its hardware isn’t — technically speaking — entirely locked in to the lightweight laptop (and lately, tablet) OS from Google. In fact, according to some new commits discovered by a Redditor over at /r/ChromeOS, Google is working on an “AltOS” mode that might allow it a bit more flexibility, although for now things are still muddy at best…
If you’re a Windows user like me, you’ll probably remember when you set up your machine and tried to change the default browser from Edge to Chrome. Microsoft pushes Edge hard on Windows 10, and doesn’t really do any favors for Google’s browser. However, the company has recently made its Browser Protection tool available on Chrome… expand full story
Windows Stories February 10, 2018
How to use VLC to cast local content from Android or Windows to a Chromecast
With VLC’s 3.0 update, it has introduced some slight design tweaks and new features. The best one, though, is the ability to cast local content directly from your Android or Windows devices. Here’s how…
Windows Stories December 19, 2017
Google Chrome is one of the best browsers available today, if not the best, but its relationship with various operating systems is certainly strained. On Windows, users have wanted Chrome in the Store for a long time, and today, it’s finally happening. Well, it’s kind of happening.
Windows Stories October 3, 2017
Google, just like Amazon, is working hard to get its virtual assistant on almost every physical platform that it possibly can. This includes phones, speakers, security cameras, appliances, TVs, and more. But as someone who spends close to 80 to 90 percent of my time on a computer, I want an official Google Assistant app that is accessible from both my Apple laptop and Windows desktop.
While we know Google is working to bring Assistant to Chromebooks, and there are ways to build your own Assistant app for Mac and PC, there isn’t an official option that packs with it all of the functionality found elsewhere.
Windows Stories February 26, 2016
Microsoft’s Android-to-Windows porting tool ‘Project Astoria’ cancelled for good
A notorious problem given by Android and iOS‘ dominance in the mobile space is the lack of interest developers have in putting their effort into less successful and widely adopted platforms such as Windows Phone. However, in its grand plan, Microsoft announced compatibility of apps between the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10 under the “Universal Windows Platform” umbrella.
To encourage devs, the Redmond giant also worked on some porting tools, the so called Windows ‘bridges’, namely “Project Islandwood” and “Project Astoria” – for porting from iOS and Android respectively – which after a troubled beginning are seeing their roads separating, with the former going forward and Astoria officially shutting down as of today, after a period of apparent hiatus.
Windows Stories January 21, 2016
Chrome 48 released to stable channel, better performance coming in future updates
Chrome on Mac, Window, and Linux is being updated this week to version 48. The latest update contains the usual bug fixes and improvements for the desktop browser, but mobile devices will see the bulk of the improvements. Future updates to Chrome, we’ve learned, will bring a new compression algorithm that will help the browser load faster pages and use less power on all platforms.
Windows Stories October 14, 2015
You probably know about this little notification center, but it’s very unlikely that you ever use it. That fact is according to data that Google itself has compiled, and — as is definitely not unusual — low usage means cutting features in the name of simplicity…
In some cases, these desktop notifications would appear while users were gone, so in 2013 Chrome launched the notification center, a place for users to find notifications from Chrome apps and extensions that they’d missed.
However, in practice, few users visit the notification center. To keep Chrome simple, it will be removed from Windows, Mac, and Linux in the upcoming release. The notification center on Chrome OS will remain unchanged.
Windows Stories July 14, 2015
Google Cloud Platform expands to General Availability on Windows
Google today has announced that its Compute Engine on Windows is expanding to General Availability. Google’s Cloud Platform allows users to deploy and operate a wide variety of technologies and today’s expansion to Windows will allow for more users to take advantage of the platform.
Compute Engine offers Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2008 R2 customers benefits of rapid deployments, increased uptime due to transparent maintenance, cheap and predictable block storage, and best in class Google Cloud Storage Nearline backup. Sharepoint, SQL and Exchange Server, and other Microsoft applications are also available to Compute Engine customers via the Microsoft License Mobility program.
Google shared more details about the graduation to General Availability for Compute Engine on Windows in a blog post on its Cloud Platform blog. Details include that Windows instances are now covered by the Compute Engine SLA, the ability for users to deploy a server running Active Directory or ASP.NET using the Cloud Launcher, and users can securely extend their existing infrastructure into Google Cloud Platform using VPN.
Microsoft’s $99 Universal Foldable Keyboard for Android & other devices now available
Microsoft’s new Universal Foldable Keyboard, first unveiled earlier this year, is now available to purchase online and through Microsoft stores. The super portable Bluetooth keyboard folds in half when not in use and allows users to connect to two mobile devices at once including Android, iPhones, iPads, and Windows devices.
Microsoft notes that the keyboard has full-size keys, a spill-resistant, water-repellent keyboard and outer material, and a built-in rechargeable battery that will get you around three months of use on a charge. There’s also an “OS” button for switching between connected devices. Here’s a closer look at the keyboard:
The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is available for $100 on Amazon, and it’s also available through Microsoft retail stores and online.
Microsoft made a new video for today’s launch to show off some of the keyboard’s features and its compact, 5mm thin design:
Windows Stories July 11, 2015
Do you speak and write in more than one language – and often use them interchangeably? If so, you may know the frustration of having to constantly change the language Google Chrome uses for spellchecking. Fortunately, it looks like Chrome soon will be able to spellcheck in multiple languages simultaneously, as well as make it easy to quickly toggle spellchecking on and off for different languages.
Windows Stories June 16, 2015
Following up on the recent announcement that Microsoft would be bringing its Cortana personal assistant software to Android (a move originally scheduled to happen at the end of this month), the company said today that it will be launching a beta version of the app next month instead.
The app’s feature set has been expanded upon, revealing that the system works across platforms like Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as mobile platforms like Android. Cortana will be connected to the user’s Microsoft account in order to keep the cross-platform features in sync.
Windows Stories May 13, 2015
Back in May of last year, Google started enforcing a policy that requires Chrome extensions be hosted on its Chrome Web Store, but only on Windows. The goal was to prevent malware hidden in extensions installable from outside its store, and it even started disabling extensions already installed on users’ systems that weren’t hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Now, Google says it will bring that requirement to Mac Chrome users over the coming months, as well as the Chrome developer channel for Windows that wasn’t previously enforcing the policy: expand full story
Windows Stories January 21, 2015
Google Chrome stable channel bumped to version 40, packs tons of bug fixes
Google has today pushed Chrome 40 to the stable channel, specifically version 40.0.2214.91. This update, while packing only minor changes, is the first that has moved version 40 to stable from its beta stage (which it entered in late November of 2014). Of the changes are an updated app information dialog for the Windows and Linux versions of the browser, and a new message for when the clock is ahead or behind. The more important change in this update is the inclusion of 62 security fixes, which are all documented on the Chromium issue tracker.
The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 40 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. Chrome 40.0.2214.91 contains a number of fixes and improvements, including:
- Updated Chrome app info dialog for Windows and Linux.
- A new clock behind/ahead error message.
A partial list of changes is available in the log.
Windows Stories December 8, 2014
Google Cloud Platform gains expanded Windows support
Google announced on Monday that it has expanded Windows support for Google Cloud Platform by releasing three enhancements to Google Compute Engine for running Windows-based workloads. The additions will make it easier for Windows users to leverage the performance and scale of Google data centers.
Windows Stories August 28, 2014
Earlier this week, Google released the stable version of Chrome 37 and now, just two days later, the company has announced the Chrome 38 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The update adds a variety of new features, although, as always, it’s a mystery as to which will make it to the stable version when it’s released.
Windows Stories August 8, 2014
Analyst: Play Store and iOS App Store rapidly growing, Windows Phone fails to impress
Analyst Alex Barredo today tweeted a photo today depicting the size of the app stores on all major mobile platforms. According to the chart, Android’s Play Store has the most apps, with iOS’ App Store not too far behind it. Both are growing rapidly, and both are approaching the 1.4 billion mark.
Windows Stories July 30, 2014
Google launches Chrome 64-bit Beta channel for Windows 7 and 8 users
After adding 64-bit support for Chrome to its Canary and Developer channels for Windows users early last month, today Google gets one step closer to making the feature live for all as it adds support for Beta channel users. Features that hit Google beta release of Chrome are usually next promoted to the public, stable release of the browser.
The support comes for both Windows 7 and 8 users and will require the 64-bit installer on the Beta download page to install:
The Chrome Team is excited to announce the addition of the Chrome 64-bit Beta Channel for Windows 7 and 8 users. To try it out, download the 64-bit installer from our Beta download pages. The new version replaces the existing version while preserving all your settings and bookmarks, so there’s no need to uninstall a current installation of Chrome.
Windows Stories July 18, 2014
Lenovo’s $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google is still pending regulatory approval, however it looks like the company is already mapping out a new strategy. Despite being one of the world’s largest PC makers, Lenovo is halting the development of Windows tablets under 10 inches in size and migrating its remaining inventory to markets like Brazil, China and Japan where there’s more of a need for low-cost slates.
Windows Stories July 17, 2014
Google seeds Chrome 37 beta with DirectWrite support on Windows
Google announced on Thursday afternoon that it has released Chrome 37 beta with a number of new developer features, making it easier to create richer and faster web content and apps. The beta release includes support for the DirectWrite API on Windows for high-quality text rendering, even on high DPI displays.
The full changelog from the Chromium blog:
Other updates in this release
- Subpixel font scaling is now supported, which enables smooth animations of text between font sizes.
- TouchEvents are now longs instead of integers, enabling higher-fidelity touch interactions on high-DPI displays.
- CSS cursor values “zoom-in” and “zoom-out” are now unprefixed.
- The number of cores on a physical machine can now be accessed bynavigator.hardwareConcurrency.
- The user’s preferred languages are now accessible by navigator.languages, and the languagechange event is fired when this is updated.
- The CSS Shapes Module allows developers to define non-rectangular text wrapping boundaries around floated elements.
- NPAPI deprecation continues according to our previously-announced plan with a harder-to-bypass blocking UI.
- The default monospace font on Windows is now Consolas instead of Courier New.
According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. expand full story
12,500 of Microsoft’s 18k job losses will be in Nokia Devices and Services division; will abandon Android X
If Nokia staff were hoping that the acquisition of the business by Microsoft would safeguard their jobs, their hopes were dashed today in a letter from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Nadella said that a major downsizing resulting in 18,000 lost jobs would focus on the Nokia Devices and Services division, where 12,500 jobs will go, most within six months.
The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months.
The letter says that Microsoft will tackle the redundancies “in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.” All employees losing their jobs will be offered severance pay, with job-transition help “in many locations.”
Windows Stories July 2, 2014
Microsoft reportedly working on Android-compatible fitness band for Q4 release
Microsoft is planning its own entry into the wearable market, but won’t make it exclusive to Windows devices, according to a report from Paul Thurrott. The device won’t be a watch, but a simple fitness band that can sync with multiple smartphone platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS.
The company is said to be aiming for a Q4 release with pricing similar to that of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear. No word yet on whether the hardware will work with the health and fitness software built into many Android phones or will require an app created by Microsoft.
Windows Stories June 16, 2014
After launching on the iPad nearly a year ago, Parallels is today launching Parallels Access on Android tablets and smartphones running version 4.0 or newer. Parallels Access is a remote desktop client that allows you to access your Mac or PC via the touchscreen of your Android device. The software is also launching today on the iPhone and bringing new enhancements to the iPad.
In our review of the iPad version last year, we noted how blown away we were with the speed and performance of Parallels Access. The software makes accessing and using a computer via the iPad’s touchscreen a breeze, and it provides a huge convenience factor for those times when you need to access something on your home computer but do not have the machine with you.
The application is far and above other remote desktop client applications because of its integration with Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, its speed, and its overall reliability. Parallels Access utilizes gestures, Android’s native keyboard with editing, “SmartMagnification” and “SmartTap” to make the computer feel responsive and alive on your Android device. The application allows you to use your Mac swiftly and connects over the internet…
Windows Stories June 5, 2014
Chrome OS users now have the ability to download and view movies and TV shows from the Google Play Store using the newly-released Play Movies & TV app. The app allows users to manage video libraries without an internet connection, something the operating system has previously been unable to do.
The library can also be synced across multiple desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows PCs, Macs, Android phones, and iOS devies. Chromecast streaming is available to play your downloaded content on an HDTV, and the app has full support for Google’s Info Cards, which display information about the content being played.
You can grab the app for free on the Google Chrome web app store. The full description is below.
Windows Stories June 3, 2014
Today, Google announced 64-bit Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8 users. Available through Mountain View’s Canary and Dev channels, these new additions will provide users with an enhanced browsing experience that improves Chrome’s speed, security and stability. In order to take advantage of Google’s new offerings, you’ll need to have a system capable of running 64-bit software, so make sure your setup is up to the task before clicking that install button.
Windows Stories May 27, 2014
Google announced today that it’s now blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users from malicious software. This means that only extensions coming from the Chrome Web Store can be installed on Chrome for Windows. As an additional safety precaution, Google says that previously installed extensions may automatically be disabled and cannot be restored until they’re hosted in the Chrome Web Store.
Windows Stories May 6, 2014
The profile of Chromebooks is likely to get a boost after the world’s largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, announced its first Chromebooks aimed at the consumer market. Pricing starts at $279.
Lenovo, best known for its Windows laptops, launched its first Chromebook in January – but that one was pitched at the education market, selling in bulk to schools and colleges. This is the first time it has pitched a Chromebook directly at consumers – something which may worry Microsoft. Lenovo has 18.6 percent of the PC market, ahead of HP, Dell and Acer … expand full story
Windows Stories February 27, 2014
Google has just promoted Chrome 34 to the beta channel, bringing with it a few new features and a lot of new apps/extension APIs for developers. Perhaps the most notable new feature for users on Mac, Windows, and Linux is hands-free Google Voice Search, allowing users to initiate a voice search on Google using the “Ok Google” command without the need of an extension:
- Responsive Images and Unprefixed Web Audio
- Hands-free Google Voice Search in Chrome
- Import supervised users onto new computers
- A number of new apps/extension APIs
- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance
While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it the native feature without the need of the extension will land for all Chrome users soon. Here’s how to enable it: expand full story
Windows Stories February 12, 2014
Google announced a partnership with virtualization software maker VMware today that will bring Chromebook users access to Windows desktops and apps. The deal means enterprise Chromebook users will have access to Windows apps through VMware Horizon DaaS and an upcoming Chrome Web Store app:
Cloud applications allow flexibility, scalability and security and enable a work-anywhere environment, but many of our customers still use traditional desktop applications. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) helps bridge the gap between the cloud and a traditional desktop by allowing you to run your traditional software in the cloud and have applications appear on your Chromebook similarly to how they run today. An example might be your Windows based accounting application.
It might sound a little bit like Google is admitting that enterprise customers need more than just Chrome apps to get the job done, but it’s also embracing the upcoming end of life for Windows XP and encouraging business customers to upgrade to Chromebooks. Giving businesses access to the Windows apps many rely on is certainly a good argument for upgrading to Chromebooks. In a statement in VMware’s press release, Google’s president of enterprise Amit Singh said “Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 per computer when compared to traditional PCs.” expand full story
Windows Stories December 29, 2013
The latest version of Picasa includes an additional bit of software called Google+ Auto Backup, as reported by Google Operating System. The new software can be used to automatically backup photos and videos from user-selected directories to your Google+ account. Interestingly, the app has nothing to do with the Picasa service, even though it ships exclusively with the Picasa app.
The app can save unlimited 2048px photos to your account, or upload full-quality versions at the expense of Google Drive space. It can also intelligently copy media from storage cards and other devices that are attached to the system. Furthermore, the app can be configured to backup all media to a designated location on the local hard drive, putting all of your backed-up media in one convenient place.
You can get the Google+ Auto Backup app by downloading the latest version of Picasa.
Windows Stories December 17, 2013
Windows Stories December 4, 2013
Google began tightening saved password security in Chrome for Mac almost one month ago. Now, it looks like Windows users will soon be able to join in on the fun. For the second time today, Google’s “Happiness Evangelist” Francois Beaufort is breaking the news. According to Beaufort, the “Reauthentication dialog for passwords” has been added into Chromium and is now ported over to Windows in the latest Chromium build.
Windows Stories October 16, 2013
Google extends Chrome support for Windows XP users until April 2015
Microsoft might be officially ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, but Google announced today that it plans to support the operating system for much longer than Microsoft for its Chrome users. While Google notes that the majority of desktop applications will no longer be supported for XP, it will continue to issue regular updates and security patches for Chrome on XP “until at least April 20, 2015”:
We recognize that hundreds of millions of users, including a good chunk of current Chrome users, still rely on XP. Moreover, many organizations still run dozens or even hundreds of applications on XP and may have trouble migrating. Our goal is to support Chrome for XP users during this transition process. Most importantly, Chrome on XP will still be automatically updated with the latest security fixes to protect against malware and phishing attacks.
Windows Stories August 20, 2013
Google announced today on its Chrome Blog that it is beginning to roll out smarter omnibox suggestions for Chrome users that it says will provide “more timely and contextually relevant suggestions.” The feature has been available for a while in beta and Google noted the improved suggestions are based on websites users recently visited. The new features come alongside the release of the Chrome 29 stable release for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which also brings support for new apps and extensions APIs.
Another new feature coming in Chrome 29 is the ability to reset Chrome back to its original state, disabling all added extensions, through an easy to access option located in Settings: expand full story
Windows Stories August 18, 2013
Last month we reported that Google’s slick new “Google+ Photos” app that launched exclusively on the Chromebook Pixel could possibly be making its way to Mac & PC. The proof came from a newly posted listing on the Chrome Web Store that made references to auto-uploading features specifically for OS X and Windows. Unfortunately, launching the app would give users a “not supported on this platform” error message. While Google has yet to officially launch the Mac and PC versions of the Chrome app, there is a way to bypass the error message and enable the app now. expand full story
Windows Stories July 9, 2013
Google on Tuesday began rolling out Chrome 28 to Windows and Mac users, though the main selling point of the update is only available to the former of those operating systems. With this update, Windows users will begin to see richer notifications than in previous builds. The rich notifications have been available in the beta build of Chrome for Windows for over a month, but only now is it rolling out to all users.
The new notifications offer a way to easily and quickly reply to emails, see calendar alerts, control music, and more. If you miss a handful of alerts, you can open up the new “notification center” to view them all at once.
We’ve designed these notifications to be beautiful, useful and engaging. They can display formatted text and images, and can include actions directly inside the pop-up (so you can respond to that email right away). Missed a bunch of notifications while you were taking a coffee break? No problem — you can open up the notification center to see them all in one place.
Windows Stories July 5, 2013
Acer’s C710. A bigger, thicker battery and more RAM (compared to Pixel and Samsung Chrombooks)
I’m an Apple snob – I’ve been using MacBook Pros and Airs almost exclusively for over a decade – in fact, it has gotten so bad that I can barely use or figure out Windows anymore. I often find the experience with anti-viruses, updates and crapware infuriating to the point where I’m no longer curious what happens in the Windows world.
On the other hand, I never have a problem jumping on a Chromebook (or Box) because it is almost exactly like using a browser in a desktop OS. That makes using Chromebooks quick, easy and productive for me. I liked the cheap, ARM-based Samsungs and loved the decked out Pixel even though I’m still not able to give native apps up entirely (Twitter, Skype, iTunes, etc keep pulling me back). But for a second computer to use as either as a backup or special occasion device or for light computer users, I wholeheartedly recommend Chromebooks.
Acer initially had a bad rep in their Chromebook department because the initial offerings seemed to be repurposed Windows netbooks (and the problems that come along with them – including little RAM, bad battery life, HDDs instead of SSDs and cramped plastic-y keyboards). To be fair, I’m going on a few minutes of use at a Best Buy and a bunch of online reviews for those assumptions.
Last month, I finally got my hands on the updated Acer ‘C710-2055’ version which has a 50% bigger battery pack than earlier models, 4 GB of RAM, and an Intel Celeron 847 processor. The price was also bumped to $279 from $199.
So, $80 later, does Acer have a compelling Chromebook here?