Chrome OS is now official; Google is definitely making a play for a share of the laptop market. It announced Chrome OS and the Chrome Web Store at its event yesterday. It also showcased the first laptop powered by Chrome OS – the Cr-48.
Google Cr-48 Specifications
12.1 inch display
Full size keyboard
Oversized clickable touchpad
802.11n dual-band WiFi
8+ hours of active use
8+ days of standby
Webcam for video chat
100 MB free data usage / month (Verizon US only)
Plans starting at $9.99/month (US only)
At 12.2 inches, it is a bit bigger than I expected it to be. 10.1 inches would be the perfect size for it, primarily being a netbook OS.
No other details are out yet; you cannot even buy it yet. Google is offering free laptops to those who qualify for the pilot program though, here’s more information about that.
Google Chrome was just updated to version 10 in the Canary build, other than the speed gain there are a few other interesting experiences going on with the latest build of Chrome.
The most noteworthy change in the Canary Build version of Chrome (which is also in Chrome 9) is the support to use web apps without having to install extensions on chrome (CRX files). According to the description available in about:flags, CRX-less Web Apps basically:
Enables support for installing Chrome apps that are deployed using a manifest file on a web page, rather than by packaging the manifest and icons into a crx file.
This hints on how Chrome might allow websites to define their operations in a manifest file and then use it to allow access to the app through Chrome. Another interesting change is the addition of "Experimental location features" which basically makes use of operating system location APIs, most likely to be used in Chrome OS.
Enables experimental extensions to the geolocation feature. Includes using operating system location APIs (where available), and sending additional local network configuration data to the Google location service to provide higher accuracy positioning.
This feature is currently only available in Chrome 10 Canary Build. Chrome 10 also allows users to change the way Google Instant is used to load websites.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there are basically three options available right now including; Verbatim, Predictive and Predictive no auto-complete. This might be from changes Google has internally done for Instant in Google Search and is now being rolled out to the Chrome Omnibox.
The new features are definitely exciting and it would be interesting to see them come into the stable version of Chrome. Considering Chrome’s 3 month stable release policy we should see Chrome 10 coming out in the first quarter of next year.
I ran a test using Chrome’s V8 Benchmark suite and Chrome 10 almost has a
50% 70% increase in performance over Chrome 9 as you can see. This bodes well with the claim Google made about Crankshaft almost doubling Chrome’s current speed.
Google Chrome Canary Build is not for the for the faint-hearted, it is based upon code which is untested so you might want to stay away from it if you don’t like crashes. However, you can install Canary Build as a separate installation so it should not be a problem as such. Interested? Go ahead and download Chrome Canary build from here http://tools.google.com/dlpage/chromesxs.
Google Chrome dev channel has been updated to version 9.0.597.10 for Windows, Mac and Linux and includes Cloud Printing feature and an option to view apps running in the Background.
Cloud Printing is Google’s new technology to allow users to print documents from any computer or smart phone regardless of where you are on a printer you add to the Google Cloud. Using this new technology users will able to print documents from anywhere you are without having to be physically present near the printer.
You will need to visit Settings -> Under the Hood and scroll down and sign in with your account to the Google Cloud print service to start using this feature.
In addition to the Cloud Printing technology, Google has also introduced a feature which display the Background Apps running currently, this coincides with Google’s new Web store which went live earlier today. To view the Background apps, Go to Settings -> View background apps. Once you click on the option you can view details of the apps/extensions which are currently running along with memory and CPU usage.
This is definitely a good addition because you can quickly identify processes which are using up too much memory or CPU usage and then End the process using the background apps manager. Since Chrome runs all apps and extensions as separate processes killing an individual process should not affect the rest of the browser.
When Google announced their Chrome OS netbook and web store earlier today for Google Chrome, my initial thoughts were that I would definitely miss a lot of desktop apps, like Windows Live Writer and TweetDeck.
However, I guess my worries have disappeared now after I started using the TweetDeck app for Google Chrome. If you have already used TweetDeck on the desktop or on the iPhone or Android based device, you will see a very familiar UI with the Chrome App. The app allows you to add multiple accounts, follow lists and more among other things.
The app also has smooth scrolling within columns so that you can view updates you have missed. It is almost similar to the desktop experience you get. TweetDeck for Chrome also has almost all the features which you might find in the desktop app. TweetDeck for Chrome also imports all your settings from TweetDeck desktop to the web app making it easier to replicate your information.
TweetDeck is the perfect app that shows how much can be done within the browser and that living in the cloud is a really not going to be that bad after all. If you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and download the TweetDeck app for Chrome from here.
For those not in the know, TweetDeck is a social networking app for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace among other things. You can download the desktop version of TweetDeck from here.
Chrome Web Store is now live and available to all users. You can download and install apps in Google Chrome right now. Chrome Web Store is the backbone of Chrome OS, the new operating system from Google which will run on netbooks.
Chrome Web Store provides users with Apps, themes and Extensions among other things. You can also download collections of different apps, themes and extensions based on a certain theme.
The web store design is pretty cool and so are the collections of apps. You can go ahead and start downloading apps for Chrome at https://chrome.google.com/webstore.
P.S. Don’t forget to try your luck and get a free Chrome OS based netbook.
Google today announced the Chrome OS netbook which is based on Chromium and provides users with a quick and easy way to access their data and apps with blazing speed.
If you haven’t watched the netbook in action, you should definitely watch the videos which will be uploaded. Google has been giving away Chrome OS netbooks to a lot of people on Facebook, YouTube among other places. They are even giving away free netbooks to all the journalists in attendance today at the Chrome OS event.
Jealous? Want one for yourself? Then head over to http://www.google.com/chromeos/ and apply to get into the Chrome OS pilot program. Please note that applying for the Pilot does not automatically qualify you, it is basically dependent on Google to choose the right people for their pilot.
Google used its own V8 benchmark, in which Chrome has traditionally done well. They didn’t disclose how Chrome with Crankshaft stands up to its competition. However, judging from the above graph, it should comfortably outperform everyone including Firefox 4, Opera 11 and Safari 5.
Chrome with Crankshaft is currently available from the bleeding edge repository and in canary releases. Try them if you are feeling adventurous.
Chrome started the latest round of speed wars, and Crankshaft will once again allow it to establish its supremacy. While Firefox and Internet Explorer are stills struggling to catch up with Chrome’s current performance, with Crankshaft, Chrome just took it to the next level. Well done Google!
One of the best browser available today, Google Chrome added 50 million users in the past 6 months. Chrome currently have 120 million users who use the browser every day.
During the announcement Google also was happy about the fact that several tech blogs now have Chrome as their top OS. I had discussed the same thing in a previous post about why Chrome is growing and Firefox is losing market share.
More on the Chrome OS event to come in future posts, till then stay tuned.
Google will be unveiling two new things at today’s Chrome OS event. First of is Chrome OS, which is the netbook OS which makes heavy use of cloud technology and second up is Chrome Web Store, which is basically an app store for Google Chrome and Chrome OS.
Google OS has been able to get their hands on some screenshots from unlisted videos posted on the Google Chrome YouTube channel, the one above is a image of Sports Illustrated magazine in Chrome Web Store.
If you are excited to see what Google will be unveiling you can definitely do that by visiting the official YouTube channel for Google Chrome at http://www.youtube.com/googlechrome. The event will be live at 10:30 AM PST, check your local timings to tune in and watch the Chrome OS event live online.