As popular as the iPad has been for end consumers, schools have also been a major part of the tablet’s success. Ever since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, schools all over the country have experimented with placing them in classrooms or giving them to students to bring home with them. The Atlantic reports that although many institutions were initially satisfied with the results, many are now beginning to see the potential upshot of affordable laptops over expensive tablets.
Google's Chromebook might not be setting the consumer world on fire yet but its stocks are set to rise, with new research predicting sales of Chromebooks will reach 5.2 million units in 2014, a 79% increase from 2013,
By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units, with the main driver being the US education market, which currently accounts for nearly 85% of all sales.
Recently we have seen a number of ‘game changer’ moves by smartphone companies all looking to start the new trend. The most recent was the launch of the OnePlus One as the “Flagship Killer” which attempted to offer high spec smartphones at a rock-bottom price. In reality the price was simply half the price you would expect to pay for a Samsung Galaxy S5 or LG G3. So although this did change what users (and probably manufacturers) expect a top of the range smartphone to cost it did not really set the smart world alight.
The Android OS and phone experience wouldn't be complete without the apps at the Google Play Store. Then there are two classifications of apps, those that you need to pay for, and those that are free to download. Free apps are more popular for obvious reasons.
It's important to take note however, that not all free apps are good apps. For those who like to download apps, it is important to have a keen eye for apps that are actually good.
Nvidia is touting the graphical performance of its K1 processor, which outperforms the Intel and Samsung-equipped Chromebooks in Nvidia's multitasking and benchmark tests. The company points to the quad-core processor design (most Chromebooks have only dual-core processors) and more powerful graphics processing unit as differentiators in the Chromebook world. Demos of the 3D rendering capabilities were impressive in person, and Nvidia's multitasking demo (which comprised of four open windows, streaming music, and running a script in a Google Sheet) did show the Chromebook 13 to be faster than an Intel-equipped model. Despite these impressive performance feats, Nvidia is confident that the Chromebook 13 will last longer away from a wall outlet than any other Chromebook on the market. It is also Google Hangouts Optimized, which allows for high definition Hangouts and multitasking at the same time.
Chromebooks have proven to be wildly popular in schools. More than a million Chromebooks were sold to schools this spring alone.
For schools, Chromebook math is easy. In Google's Chromebooks for Education program, each device can cost as little as $279 and they're easy to manage from a centralized console. For school districts the real killer feature is this: If they buy through the Google program and a Chromebook stops working, Google just replaces it for no additional cost.
Most price speculation put the device at around $399, and considered the device expensive. Now that the official price is known, the unique device seems even less appealing than before. With HP’s Chromebooks ranging from $279 to $349, and LTE models available, the Slatebook looks woefully overpriced.
While market predictions for PCs have been generally bleak, Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS platform--have been doing well in sales terms. That's especially true in schools, where many districts are purchasing the low cost systems that run cloud applications for students to use.
In the past 4 months during this years Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for open source software projects, Christian Bruckmayer collaborated with other students and mentors to code a dashboard for the Open Source Event Manager (OSEM). In this series of three posts Christian will tell you about his project and what he has learned from this experience.
Android is a Google product—it's designed and built from the ground up to integrate with Google services and be a cloud-powered OS. A lot of Android is open source, though, and there's nothing that says you have to use it the way that Google would prefer. With some work, it’s possible to turn a modern Android smartphone into a Google-less, completely open device—so we wanted to try just that. After dusting off the Nexus 4 and grabbing a copy of the open source parts of Android, we jumped off the grid and dumped all the proprietary Google and cloud-based services you'd normally use on Android. Instead, this experiment runs entirely on open source alternatives. FOSS or bust!