Archive for category chrome os

How to turn on Smart Lock on Chrome OS

Google’s Chrome OS and Android are becoming more and more alike with each update. With that, certain features are also being shared across the two operating systems. One of the newest additions to this is Smart Lock coming to Chromebooks.

What’s it do?

Smart Lock allows for your Chromebook to be unlocked without a passcode while it’s linked to your Android phone. When the two devices are paired, you simply click your account photo or hit the enter key to log in.

How to turn it on?

Turning on Smart Lock takes a few steps on both your phone and Chrome device to work properly. But don’t worry, we are going to walk you through it now.

  • Open up the Settings app in Chrome OS.
  • Find and select “Screen lock and sign in.”
  • Enter your current password to allow this option to be edited.
  • Find the line titled Smart Lock and click “Set up.”
  • You’ll be dropped into the lock screen and have to enter your current password again.
  • Now you’ll need to find and pair your Android phone.
  • Click “Use this phone” when prompted.
  • You can now “Try Smart Lock” and see if it works.
  • Once you see the green unlocked icon next to your password bar, Smart Lock should allow for clicking your account photo or pressing enter to sign into Chrome OS.

Success

Once you see the green unlocked icon next to your password bar, Smart Lock should allow for clicking your account photo or pressing enter to sign into Chrome OS. From then on, you should have a slightly easier way to log into your Chromebook as long as your smartphone is nearby. Speaking of proximity, you may have to play around with the “Distance needed for the phone to unlock this Chromebook” drop-down in settings. I’ve found that in order for this to consistently work I needed it to be on the “far” option.

Tags: , ,

Chrome OS may be where the Pixelbook finally makes sense.

I’ve owned a lot of laptops over the years. No, really, a lot. There have been at least 50 laptops in my history of using them over the past decade or so. In that vain, I’ve got a new toy in the Allen house. I just bought a Google Pixelbook this weekend. It’s been a long road to get to this clamshell, but there’s been a method and Chrome OS may finally be headed where the Pixelbook makes sense.

Where it started

As a Google user, I’ve always had an affinity for Android and Chrome OS. With that, I’ve flirted with both operating systems in my journey with a myriad of different form factors. The Pixelbook is the culmination of all that into a single device for me.

I’ve been with Chrome OS from the beginning. I owned the original consumer device from Acer and later tracked down the CR-48 developer prototype. I love the idea of it. Fast, secure with timely updates from Google atop the Linux kernel. However, at times it just seemed too elementary. It simply failed to give me everything I need in an OS.

On the flip side, Android has also been in my life for what seems like forever. Many of those devices were also meant to replace my laptop. The main unit that comes to mind is the Asus Transformer Pad. It was a detachable tablet/laptop hybrid that predates Chrome OS. It was one of the first attempts at Android on more than a phone.

For most tasks, it succeeded. Android in many ways is more mature an OS than Chrome OS, but the Transformer just never hit that sweet spot with the lack of a true desktop browser. I firmly believe that regardless the OS you need a true browser to perform like a modern computer.

Has to have the hardware

Laptops aren’t all software of course. I eventually wanted to move past these niches and most of the time budget Chromebooks on the market. Completely plastic chassis with grainy 1366×768 screens just aren’t cutting it for me as I get older and wiser. I started looking for a more robust machine and landed on the XPS 13 from Dell.

This Dell laptop is an extremely premium unit, but much like the others in my past, it was running a Windows OS that I’m just not willing to use long-term. I immediately installed Linux on the machine and was relatively happy. Linux is my OS of choice overall on the desktop, but it’s also starting to leave some things to be desired. Especially on a mobile device like a laptop. I love the number of developers that do spend time supporting Linux, but it can’t hold a candle to the allure of a Google-backed project like Chrome OS or Android.

A good marriage

That brings me full circle to my recent Pixelbook purchase. Google has been moving towards a Chrome OS that offers me everything I’ve been looking for in a laptop. Full Chrome for desktop level browsing when I need it, supplemented by Android apps for most other tasks. The total package still needs some polish, but the overall experience is surprisingly satisfying.

I never thought Android apps being available would be the crux that pushed me back to Chrome OS, but it has definitely been a huge factor. It’s really nice to have the same core apps that help me function daily tasks on my phone just right there on my laptop as well. The same goes for Google Assistant and core Google experience that is becoming more and more prevalent in the OS.

Wrap all that up in a high-end package that screams flagship and you’ve got the laptop that has all the key elements that Google wants you to have without having hardware envy. The combination of glass and aluminum make it super sturdy but also makes it immediately recognizable as well. You don’t have to make it to the etched “G” in the lid to know this is not your normal laptop.

I finally feel content on my laptop. I have true Chrome with the entire web at my fingertips and Android filling in the gaps with the same focused, always on dynamic, they have filled on mobile phones. This is a powerful combination that doesn’t make my experience seem like a compromise in any way.

While this may seem trivial to search for a laptop, it’s truly been a struggle for me. It’s been a long journey, but one that I feel may be slowing to its end. Chrome OS has really matured and shows steady progress for what the future can hold. Google has a true flagship device with the Pixelbook and it’s found a home in my house for now.

Tags: , , ,

Assistant on Chrome OS, Samsung fined, and more Android news you need to know

Welcome to In Brief, the AndroidGuys tech briefing. Today is Wednesday, October 24th, and we’re taking a look at all the tech news you need to know. In this post, we want you to learn about the news the way you want to learn. We’ve embedded a podcast version of all this news below. If you don’t want to listen, you can read just like you normally would.

In today’s edition, Google Assistant comes to Chrome OS devices, OnePlus 6T passes through Verizon, Google will force OEM’s update older devices, and more news you need to know.

We’d love feedback on this post, so please let us know what you think in the comments. If we can improve in some way, we’d love to know!

Google Assistant comes to “all” Chrome OS devices

It seems that Google’s latest big push comes at a good time for Chrome OS users. The company has been bringing new updates to devices, while new products are coming out all the time.

The latest update brings Google Assistant to just about every Chrome OS device, including tablets and Chromebooks. In order to access this, you will need to have Chrome OS Canary installed.

From there, a new flag is available which will bring Assistant to “all” Chromebooks. While this is in testing, Google is still working out the kinks and the interface isn’t all that great just yet.

OnePlus 6T rumored to pass through Verizon certifications

Earlier this month, a report revealed that the OnePlus 6T could end up being compatible with Verizon. This is huge because up until now, OnePlus devices were limited to only working with GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

The latest report from PCMag claims that the OnePlus 6T has passed through Verizon’s certification process. If true, this means that you will be able to use the 6T on Verizon without jumping through hoops.

We are already expecting to see the OnePlus launch its next device in a partnership with T-Mobile. Here’s to hoping that OnePlus is ready to make the plunge in the US and really take the market by storm.

The OnePlus 6T will debut at an event on October 29th in New York City.

Google plans to force OEM’s update to new versions of Android

Hot off the heels of the changes coming to Android in the EU, it seems Google is looking to get more from OEM’s. The Verge has obtained a contract which will require device makes to “regularly install updates for any popular phone or tablet for at least two years”.

The contract also states that OEM’s will be required to “provide at least four security updates” within the first year of a device’s launch. There are mandates for bringing security updates to devices in the second year, but there’s no mention of how many will be required.

It’s no secret that one of Android’s biggest issues comes down to software updates. Unless you own a Pixel, there is no telling when the next major update will be pushed to handsets, and security updates can be few and far between.

Samsung fined for slowing down smartphones intentionally

For years, Samsung has been accused of intentionally slowing devices down, with some instances beginning just a few months after launch. It seems that Italian authorities have found that Samsung is forcing unwanted updates on older devices.

An announcement has been made which shows that Samsung has been fined €5 million. The announcement surrounds the release of the Galaxy Note 4 where users were “incessantly pestered” to install the update.

Then, the users would complain on forums that the smartphone became practically useless, including lasting just a few hours before the battery would run out. Samsung has yet to respond to the fines, but it will be interesting to see how this turns out.

AT&T working on dedicated DirecTV Now Android TV box

For the last year or so, AT&T has been rumored to be making a dedicated DirecTV Now box which is based on Android TV. Today, we received reports that the device is alive and well and has even passed through the FCC.

Originally, the Android TV device was set to launch by the end of 2018, but AT&T CEO John Donovan stated that the company will “roll out trials in the first half of 2019”. We are hoping that this new Android TV box won’t just be available for DirecTV Now customers.

However, if the release finally happens, then we can hopefully see more similar devices launched in the future.

Visit our sponsor!

We’d like to thank Blue Microphones for sponsoring the AndroidGuys Audio experience! Click here to check out the Blue Yeticaster, the best option for podcasts! Enter promo code Androidguys (US only!) for 20% off of your order.

Subscribe!

Get more of the AndroidGuys Audio Experience

Google Play Music | Simplecast | iTunes | Stitcher | Pocket Casts

For questions, concerns, or general feedback about the podcast feel free to contact us at podcast [at] androidguys.com.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Google unveils its own Chrome OS tablet, the Pixel Slate

Google still thinks tablets are in, so today the search giant unveiled the Pixel Slate.  A Chrome OS tablet, the new device comes with a detachable keyboard cover that can turn it into a laptop substitute.

The product starts at $599 and will be available later this year. Google will be offering it in a variety of configuration, the most expensive one being quite high-end with an 8th gen Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. A Core i3 and Core i5 version will also become available.

The slate sports a 12.3-inch display with 3000 x 2000 resolution and 293ppi that is among the sharpest in its class, according to Google. This was made possible due the energy-efficient LCD technology called Low Temperature PolySilicone (LTPS) which allowed the company to squeeze in more pixels without sacrificing size or battery. Google is calling it a “Molecular Display”.

The Pixel Slate is designed for productivity and life on the go

The package also includes front-firing stereo speakers and two 8MP cameras, one on the back and one on the front. Speaking of the rear, the Pixel Slate is a solid piece of metal with the G logo in the corner. Two USB-C ports live on the left and right side, but there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack.

Furthermore, Google has included the Google Camera app on the Pixel Slate, so the product can be used for photography too. Users will be able to take advantage of the sought-after bokeh effect, and the front-facing camera has been optimized for video chatting with a wide-angle lens and larger pixels.

While the tablet will be sold on its own, Google will also offer some additional accessories including the Pixel Slate Keyboard we mentioned above (no pairing needed). The accessory features rounded, backlit keys and will be available $199. The tablet is also compatible with a smart pen which will also cost you an additional $99.

Join the waitlist to be notified when the Pixel Slate will go on sale

Tags: ,

How to Run Android apps in your Chrome browser on any PC

Want to run Android apps on your laptop or desktop, but you don’t have a Chromebook? Don’t worry, you can still do it. You might not know this, but Chrome has a tool that lets you test out Android apps in-browser.

Certainly, it makes sense to put some Android apps on your laptop. We’re talking about those that have no web equivalent like Snapchat or Evernote. Not to mention games. Any app that’s frustrating to use on a smaller screen, will probably work a lot better on the laptop or desktop.

The tool you need to use in order to be able to run Android apps on your device is called ARC Welder. Originally ARC, which stands for App Runtime for Chrome was an experiment specifically designed for app developers, but now almost anyone can take advantage of it.

However, keep in mind that ARC Welder is based on Android 4.4 and comes with a few limitations including:

  • You can only load one app at the time
  • You need to select whether you want the app to launch in Portrait or Landscape mode
  • You have to opt for tablet- or phone-mode

With that being said, let’s see how you can install the tool.

Install ARC Welder

Open the Chrome browser on your laptop or desktop computer, head on to the Chrome Web Page for ARC Welder and add the extension to your browser. After the short installation process, you should be able to start using Android apps on your desktop.

All desktop systems are supported including Windows 10, MacOS, and Linux. So the extension should work regardless of whether you’re using a Windows laptop or a Macbook.

However, we need to note that ARC Welder has been specifically designed for Chrome OS. The tool will highlight that saying that “You are using ARC Welder on a non-Chrome OS device. Platform-specific bugs exist.” This is a warning that not everything will work smoothly.

Find and download APK files

ARC Welder works with APK files, so in order to get Android apps to run on your PC, you will have to find and download the APK files of the apps you want to get on desktop.

We recommend you give a try one of these APK databases which offer a large selection of apps and games:

Use ARC Welder to run them

Once you’ve downloaded an APK, simply click on the “Add your APK” button to start testing. It will take a few seconds for it to load, but once it does, you’ll need to do a few additional things. Like select the orientation, form factor or whether the app should the resized.

Next, press test and wait for the app to load. It will do so in a separate window. We have to warn you that some of the apps will probably fail to load, as we found out in our testing. Some simply crash for inexplicable reasons.

For example, Instagram did not load for us, while Messenger Lite and Twitter worked just fine. Although the animations were a bit slow to load, the overall experience was pretty decent.

The majority of the games we tried to test didn’t work. Some did load the first screen, but then crashed afterwards, so this is a hit-and-miss kind of deal. Unfortunately, those who would like to test out games that are frustrating to play on a small smartphone screen, won’t have too much luck to do so.

Nope 🙁

Nevertheless, some app will work just fine, so if you’re patient enough you’ll find some that do.

If you tried out ARC Welder before, let us know in the comment section below which apps or games worked for you.

Tags: , ,

Android 8.1 could allow SMS messages to be sent from a Chromebook

Sending text messages on the Chromebook is something we’ve heard about before but never materialized. Now the function has turned up in the Developer Preview of Android 8.1 sparking suggestions that it could make an appearance soon. The feature called SMS Connect, will allow users to send and receive text messages from their phone using […]

Tags: ,

Pixelbook: Google’s $1000 new Chromebook

At Google’s October event yesterday, we saw a lot of new products announced. One of these new products is the Pixelbook. This laptop/tablet hybrid is a new version of the Chromebook which implements elements of the Pixel tablets. Fitting in well with Google’s overall design style and including premium specs including the Google Assistant and a 10-hour battery with USB-C, at a $999 price tag the new Pixelbook seems more than reasonable.

About the Pixelbook

The Pixelbook is a 4-in-1 hybrid, acting as a laptop, tablet, and stand either way. The tablet element makes it perfect for the device to work with Play Store apps which are now found on ChromeOS. Google has partnered with Wacom to provide the Pixelbook Pen. This is a stylus with the Google Assistant built-in; it has 60 degrees of angular awareness, 10 milliseconds of latency, and over two thousand levels of pressure sensitivity- a major step-up in specs from the Apple Pencil.

Measuring 10mm thick, the Pixelbook weighs in at a mere 1 kilogram, this means that the Pixelbook can be carried around easily without becoming a hassle or being too heavy to practically carry around; this makes the new device the perfect size and weight for those who will be taking the device to school or to work.

The 12.3″ QHD LCD display is a little bit smaller than most modern laptops which usually have a screen size of 13″, but it still a good size, especially when being used as a tablet. The Google Assistant finally has been introduced to ChromeOS. Not only is there voice recognition, but there is a dedicated Assistant key on the keyboard to bring the Google Assistant on the screen (like holding down the home button) and not activating voice recognition. The Pixelbook Pen also acts as a trigger for the Assistant, working in a similar way to On-Screen Recognition, but with only particular parts selected with the Pen.

Another useful feature that was announced by Google, is Smart Tether. If there is no suitable WiFi network available, your Pixelbook will automatically connect to your Pixel 2 smartphone in order to make an internet connection via a hotspot.

The Pixelbook with the Pen is available for pre-order today in the US, Canada, and the UK on the Google Store. Google’s trailer for the new device can be found below.

The post Pixelbook: Google’s $1000 new Chromebook appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

Tags: ,

Pixelbook: Google’s $1000 new Chromebook





At Google’s October event yesterday, we saw a lot of new products announced. One of these new products is the Pixelbook. This laptop/tablet hybrid is a new version of the Chromebook which implements elements of the Pixel tablets. Fitting in well with Google’s overall design style and including premium specs including the Google Assistant and a 10-hour battery with USB-C, at a $999 price tag the new Pixelbook seems more than reasonable.

About the Pixelbook

The Pixelbook is a 4-in-1 hybrid, acting as a laptop, tablet, and stand either way. The tablet element makes it perfect for the device to work with Play Store apps which are now found on ChromeOS. Google has partnered with Wacom to provide the Pixelbook Pen. This is a stylus with the Google Assistant built-in; it has 60 degrees of angular awareness, 10 milliseconds of latency, and over two thousand levels of pressure sensitivity- a major step-up in specs from the Apple Pencil.


Measuring 10mm thick, the Pixelbook weighs in at a mere 1 kilogram, this means that the Pixelbook can be carried around easily without becoming a hassle or being too heavy to practically carry around; this makes the new device the perfect size and weight for those who will be taking the device to school or to work.

The 12.3″ QHD LCD display is a little bit smaller than most modern laptops which usually have a screen size of 13″, but it still a good size, especially when being used as a tablet. The Google Assistant finally has been introduced to ChromeOS. Not only is there voice recognition, but there is a dedicated Assistant key on the keyboard to bring the Google Assistant on the screen (like holding down the home button) and not activating voice recognition. The Pixelbook Pen also acts as a trigger for the Assistant, working in a similar way to On-Screen Recognition, but with only particular parts selected with the Pen.

Another useful feature that was announced by Google, is Smart Tether. If there is no suitable WiFi network available, your Pixelbook will automatically connect to your Pixel 2 smartphone in order to make an internet connection via a hotspot.

The Pixelbook with the Pen is available for pre-order today in the US, Canada, and the UK on the Google Store. Google’s trailer for the new device can be found below.

The post Pixelbook: Google’s $1000 new Chromebook appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

Tags: ,

Samsung Chromebook Plus: The future of Chromebooks is now (Review)

The Samsung Chromebook Plus is one of the newer Chromebooks on the market and one of the first to feature the newest version of Chrome OS that now supports Android apps. Samsung also released a “Pro” model for $100 more that features a more powerful Intel processor. Both laptops are otherwise identical in terms of […]

Tags: ,

Could Chrome OS tablets with Android apps revive the dying tablet market?

A few days ago we told you that Google just confirmed all Chromebooks coming in 2017 and later will feature Android apps out of the box. However it seems like the merger between Android and Chrome will be extended beyond laptops and onto tablets. Yes, the tablet ecosystem hasn’t seen much innovation for the past

Tags: ,