PCWorld |. This is the Chrome OS file manager that lets you access files saved on your system, view the contents of a ZIP folder, or access items in Google Drive. Once you buy your first Chromebook, you’ll likely have plenty of questions. Can you play games on a Chromebook… One of Chrome’s key features is the ability to sync your recently opened tabs, browsing history, bookmarks, extensions, passwords, and other items across multiple devices. To do that, simply type chrome://flags in the browser to access the hidden settings. This is the Chrome OS file manager that lets you access files saved on your system, view the contents of a ZIP folder, or access items in Google Drive. What are Chromebooks. Here you can access system settings for the touchpad, mouse, keyboard, display, and onboard storage. Chromebooks can now run Android apps, and some even support Linux applications. Do more with apps. What is a Chromebook, though? Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc. Next to that are a clock, Wi-Fi status, and a battery life indicator. Can you use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook? Stick around to find out. How to Add Custom Shortcuts to Your Chromebook App Launcher Be In the Know Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. It’s also a way to see every app on your system. All of this means the Chromebooks of 2019 and 2020 are nothing like that original experience. Next page: Helpful controls, customizing your system, and more. Turn off Sync everything at the top, and then deactivate anything you don’t want shared with other devices. This Chromebook review explores the pros and cons of using Chromebooks and other Chrome OS-based computers and helps you answer that question. One system-critical Chromebook app is Files. I recently pulled it out and wondered … Check out the link below for some great options. All new Chromebooks run the Chrome browser, Android apps and Linux software out of the box these days, although the latter two are options you can choose to enable or ignore. Chromebooks have access to a vast library of Google-approved apps. When you open an app it will open in a new window if it’s an Android app, desktop app, or web app that you’ve set-up to launch in its own window. The Chrome OS Shelf shows which apps are running and provides an easy way to launch apps. Just like Windows PCs, Chromebooks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and form factors. To open a Chromebook, you need to sign in with your Google account password. But over time, web apps slowly became more powerful and capable, while Google steadily improved the Chrome OS experience. Chromebooks made in the past two years also have access to Android applications through the Google Play Store, as well as Linux applications. Asus just announced the Chromebook Flip C433 a new, cheaper version of our favorite Chromebook for the UK. News, reviews, deals, apps and more. Let’s get that done. But what is a Chromebook exactly, and how does it differ from a traditional PC? The easiest way to add web apps is to open the site you want in the browser. Selecting the cog icon in this section opens your Chromebook’s settings window. You can use VMware on Chromebooks to run Windows applications, and there's support for Linux software, too. Finally, back in the Settings window, confirm that the slider next to your phone is enabled. But even those who require more than a mobile device have alternatives to expensive Windows and macOS laptops, though. To begin, tap the key, and a Google Assistant box pops up at the bottom of the screen with some of your recently used apps. Who wants that? At that price point, there are many other options to consider, many of which can handle some serious software. To make the Chromebook your own you’ll want to add your commonly used apps to the Shelf, and remove the ones you don’t use. If everything is set click Accept & continue, then enter your password and click Done. Otherwise, you’re opening a tab in the main browser. The last point of interest in our system tour is the lower-right corner of the taskbar-like Shelf, called the system tray. Chromebooks have access to a vast library of Google-approved apps. Syncing’s on by default with Chromebooks, but you can control which items are synced and which aren’t. Decide what you want to sync with Google’s servers and turn on encryption. The next screen shows all the various items that are synced. When Google first introduced Chromebooks in 2011, it seemed like a ridiculous idea. The best Chromebooks you can buy right now, Check if your Chrome OS laptop can run Android and Linux apps, These are the best laptops you can buy right now, How to setup up Chrome OS parental controls. ©2020 Android Authority | All Rights Reserved. Click it, and you can view and clear your notifications. Just like Windows, Linux, and OS X, there’s a desktop area that you can customize with your own background image. As a cheaper alternative to a Windows laptop or a MacBook, a Chromebook is an attractive option for budget buyers.The simplicity of Google's Chrome … Also, be sure to check out our guide for the best Chromebook covers and cases. Given the nature of Chrome OS, Chromebooks do not require extremely high-powered hardware to provide an excellent user experience. Click the upward-facing arrow above the search box to get a view of everything you have available. His slide had 5 things a Windows 10 device can do that a Chromebook can’t. Learn more about PCWorld's Digital Editions. You may be used to choosing between Apple’s macOS and Windows when shopping for a new computer, but Chromebooks have offered a third option since 2011. This shortcut used to be Shift + Esc, but Google is phasing it out. To rearrange apps on the shelf, click and drag them to the desired position. Are you still confused? Here are some very specific situations where they aren’t the best option: If most of your PC activity is stuff like Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, and other online tasks — get a Chromebook! Additionally, if most of your favorite apps and games are available from the Google Play Store, you’ll find that modern Chromebooks rock. To get rid of something, hover your mouse pointer over the app icon in question, tap the touchpad with two fingers (the equivalent of a right-click), and select Unpin from the context menu that appears. You’ll probably notice right away that your keyboard has a search icon where the caps lock key should be. Looking for a discount? Things to do with an old Chromebook As the title says, I have an old touchscreen Acer Chromebook that I don't really use anymore as I've replaced it with a different laptop. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Scroll down till you find the Native CUPS Chrome OS flag and set it to Enable and restart the Chromebook. This syncing works on any device that runs Chrome—including computers, smartphones, and tablets—as long as you’re signed into your Google account. We regularly look around for new Chromebook deals and gather them up into a Chromebook deal guide. To reinstall a Chromebook's operating system, you need another working computer with Chrome OS, macOS, or Windows, as well as a formatted USB flash drive or SD card with a minimum of 8 GB of space. A great option if you don't mind the price. The full Microsoft Office suite runs on Chromebook, thanks to Office Online on the Chrome Web Store. Chrome OS is the operating system that powers every Chromebook. When you first open your Chromebook, you’ll see several app icons sitting at the bottom of the screen. Most apps will appear here just as they would on an Android phone, but Linux apps are grouped together. Chrome OS used to pretty much be a glorified browser, but things have changed in recent years. Open windows can be resized or split to take up half the display like in other systems, though some Linux desktop apps may not respond to these commands. Adding a website to the shelf in Chrome OS. 1. Next, in the left rail select Connected devices, then in the main window click Set up in the Android phone section. If not, activate the slider and enter your password to confirm. It’s merely a visual space where you can arrange open windows. But unlike the desktop in other systems, you cannot place any files here. Still want a Chromebook? Next, right-click the webpage tab—it looks like three vertical dots—and select More tools > Create shortcut.... A small pop-up window appears asking you to confirm that you want to add the web app. Do more with apps. Chrome OS has some basic similarities with other desktop systems. Here are a few extra buyer guides that will help you find the right laptop for your needs. To set this up, click the clock in the lower right corner of your desktop and select Settings. Kicking the tires on a Chromebook purchase? Those with higher-end needs will need to really pay up to get a superior Chromebook. Contributor, Google Pixelbook (i5, 8 GB RAM, 128GB) Full disclosure from the start: The Google Pixelbook is the … Go to Settings, and then in the left-hand rail select People > Sync. Students should check out our Windows 10 vs. macOS vs. Chrome OS guide for the back to school season. That means anything you can do in Chrome for Windows or Mac, you can do in Chrome OS. Here are some resources to make life easier: Get the very best of Android Authority in your inbox. High-powered 2-in-1 Chromebook that seamlessly flips to a tablet. You’ll find it is up to the job and a lot cheaper than Windows, Mac, and Linux options. Then, Google went even further and added the ability to run Android apps, and still further with Linux desktop apps. Now when your phone is near your Chromebook it should automatically unlock. If you want a desktop-like experience for the web app, check the box that says Open as window, and then click Create. Basically, Chrome OS is awesome unless you are using them for certain types of tasks. Google's done a decent job of getting the word out that the first wave of Chromebooks, the very portable laptops that run the nothing-but-the-web Chrome OS, are available for purchase and … One system-critical Chromebook app is Files. 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