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News about Google, Chrom*, various services, etc.

Lenovo Doubles Down with Consumer-Focused Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google

While Lenovo is pitching its new Chromebooks at consumers, it's likely that they'll be popular in school systems--especially the less expensive N20 model. School systems around the U.S. are purchasing Chromebooks for students, a trend that Google could subsidize and one that is reminiscent of Apple's strong focus on the education market from years ago. Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.

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Asus Chromebox with Core i3 Haswell now available

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Linux
Google

Asus started selling its first Chrome OS desktop computers in March with the launch of the $179 Asus Chromebox M005U. The tiny desktop is small enough to hold in one hand, packs an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and Google’s Chrome operating system.

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Google, Intel to make Chromebook announcement on May 6

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GNU
Linux
Google

One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.

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The Reality of Chromebooks/OS – Not as limited as you think!

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GNU
Linux
Google

So when you consider your next PC purchase, give ChromeOS a consideration and when you look at the sales on Amazon, it appears many people are starting to do just that. I would suggest though if you are looking for a Chromebook replacement to a bulky desktop PC with features you don’t need, you go for as large a screen as possible. 14″ seems to be the best size and accommodates web pages, apps et al, comfortably.

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New Acer Chromebook has Core i3 processor

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GNU
Linux
Google

Power is not generally associated with Chromebooks, since they utilize either ARM processors, like tablets, or Intel’s Celeron processors. Google‘s Pixel was the only Chromebook that could be described as powerful because it uses one of Intel’s Core i5 processors. However, on Monday we saw an Acer Chromebook that is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor. This is a large jump from the usual low power processors found in most Chromebooks, and will offer that power at a much lower price than the Chromebook Pixel.

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Chromebooks: Not much room for competition

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Google

Major laptop makers are paying attention and are adding Chromebooks to their product lines. They require basically the same production methods as their Windows laptops, so it's a low-cost effort to build them. The Chromebook doesn't require big hardware, so the component inventory is not too heavy.

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Presence of Chromebooks in businesses grows with recent deals

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GNU
Linux
Google

Google already provided the Chromebook Business Management Console to businesses, but now these businesses can work with familiar companies to use it in their business. In addition, with major manufacturers offering Chromebooks, including Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo, businesses can stick with a preferred brand and have a wide variety of Chromebooks to manage.

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Sailfish On The Nexus 4 Now Works For Audio Phone Calls

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OS
Google

The second update to Sailfish for the Nexus 4 was released in mid-April at version 1.0.5.16. This newest update fixes phone calls so audio now actually work, timers and alarms now work, HTMI5 video and audio work within the browser, and the update is based upon the latest Sailfish code. There is though still some known issues with securely powering off the device, phone call audio volume not changing with the volume buttons, and other bugs.

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Web App Shortcuts To Get New Look in Chrome, Chrome OS

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Google

When creating an ‘application’ from a web page Chrome attempts to create an icon for it using the favicon — the small icon you see in the corner of a tab next to the page title, or if the site specifies one, the ‘apple touch icon’.

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Unlocking Chromebooks will soon get simpler

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Google

Due to Google being the creator of both Android and Chrome OS, they have begun to experiment with these operating systems, combining them to create unique features, like how Apple does with their iOS devices and Mac OS X line of computers. Previously, Muktware mentioned Google working on alternative methods for unlocking Chromebooks, but the Android Police discovered one such development in the works on Chromebooks running the Dev channel. (The Dev channel is Google’s early release channel, through which Chromebook users can get new features earlier but are unstable, so sometimes cause problems).

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Google Web Designer Available For Linux

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Google
Software

Google Web Designer is a program for creating interactive HTML5 websites and ads for any device. Using it, you can create content using drawing tools, text, 3D objects, add animations and Google Fonts directly from the Google Web Designer interface and more. The tool "outputs clean human-readable HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript".

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Future update gives better view of Chromebook CPU usage

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GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebooks have been able to show system performance through the Task Manager in the Chrome browser, however a future update is showing a new way to view a Chromebook’s system performance. Currently, on the stable build for Chromebooks, going to the chrome://power page allows users to view battery performance over time in the form of a chart. However, the Beta channel shows not only battery performance on this page, but CPU performance over time, too. This view gives Chromebook users a better idea of Chromebook CPU usage. (The Beta channel is one of Google‘s early release channels, where users can receive future updates early, though they can be unstable.)

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Google Is Financing A Lot Of Great Open-Source Work This Summer

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Google
OSS

Google just announced their list of accepted student projects for this year's Google Summer of Code. After going through all of the projects on the list for the different upstream open-source projects involved, there's a ton of improvements to be worked on by students this summer and financed by Google. This is perhaps the most exciting Google Summer of Code ever.

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Will Enterprises Be Next to Warm Up to Chromebooks?

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GNU
Linux
Google

Chromebooks--portable computers that run Google's Chrome OS platform--are seeing rapid adoption in many niche markets, including the education market, but the holy grail for Google is to get them in the hands of enterprise users. To achieve that goal, there needs to be a solution that bridges the world of Windows applications with Chrome OS. And, Google and others are working on exactly that challenge.

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Digitimes Research: Microsoft facing difficulties in 3 major segments

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Google
Microsoft

As for the partner relations, PC brand vendors are gradually accepting Google's Chrome OS and even trying to provide dual-OS solutions. Microsoft's Surface tablets also created a conflict of interest with its tablet vendor partners. With Windows-based smartphones continuing to fall behind Android-based models, most smartphone vendors have placed less attention on Windows Phone and started dropping support after the software giant's acquisition of Nokia.

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Two new features coming to Chromebooks

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GNU
Linux
Google

One of these new features added today is a way to control the volume of the Chrome OS media player with the Arrow keys. Chromebooks come with master volume keys built into the keyboard, but now this new basic feature allows you to push the up and down arrow keys to change the volume of the Chrome Media Player itself.

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Google Mounts $100K Project Ara Dev Challenge

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Android
Google

Modular product design is the wave of the future, said Shardul Kazi, Toshiba America senior VP, who sees the concept being extended to tablets and other products. Google is offering developers a carrot to help make that future materialize, in the form of a $100,000 prize for Project Ara innovation. The rules for the competition will be released in May

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Will Android TV kill Google’s Chromecast?

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Android
Google

When I first heard about Android TV I also wondered why Google was bothering with it given how successful the Chromecast seems to have been with consumers. It seemed quite odd to me that Google would suddenly decide to take on Amazon and Apple when it already had a very popular TV product.

But I think if you take another look at this it actually makes some sense. The Android TV device will most likely sell for around the same price as the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire TV: $99. So it will be competing at a slightly higher spot in the market than the Chromecast, which sells for about $35.

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Google Beta Testing Android App for Chrome Remote Desktop

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Android
Google

For about a year now, Google has been working on an Android version of its Chrome Remote Desktop app and new reports from Engadget, PCMag and other outlets claim that it is imminent. The origins of the project go all the way back to a short post from The Chromium Team, and many people have been waiting for the ability to access a remote computer or device from Android.

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Wanna build a module for Google's Project Ara mix-and-match phone? Here are your specs

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Android
Google

Just days before its first Project Ara Developer Conference is scheduled to begin, Google has released the device's Module Developers Kit (MDK), a set of plans and documentation designed to get hardware hackers started building modules for the componentized, mix-and-match experimental smartphone.

Google first unveiled Project Ara in 2013 as a research project within its Motorola Mobility division. But although it's in the process of selling off most of Motorola to Lenovo, the Chocolate Factory has kept Ara in-house, where it appears to be moving full steam ahead.

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