How To Switch To Dev Channel On Your Chromebook In 3 Simple Steps

Chromebooks

First off, you need to understand that this uses the Chrome Dev Channel. Chrome comes in three different flavors, which we refer to as channels: stable, beta, and dev. Of the three, dev  shorthand for developer  is the most unstable and has a few bugs from time to time. The trade-off is that you get the newest stuff Chrome has to offer before anyone else. These three channels can be used in the regular Chrome browser or in Chrome OS, which is what the Chromebooks use as their operating system. We are obviously going to focus on Chrome OS in the steps I give below.

Disclaimer: Before you get too uncomfortable, please note that none of this should factory reset your device, so switching to the dev channel shouldn’t cause you to lose any of your files on your Chromebook. But, Talk Android nor myself  assume any liability or responsibility for any unexpected or undesired changes that may affect your Chromebook. If you proceed with these steps, it is under your own responsibility and liability.
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Chromebook Dev Channel Introduces “Ok Google” Hotword From Any Screen And How To Enable It

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In a new addition to the Chromebook Dev Channel, which is the version of Chrome OS that has all of the experimental features, you can now call up a Google search with your voice from any screen so long as your device is turned on and unlocked. This feature is very similar to many of our Android devices when “Ok Google” is set to be listened for from any screen. Being the developer channel, if all the kinks get worked out, it should make its way to the beta and stable channels for Chromebook in the near future.
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Amazon running a holiday sale on several Chromebooks

Chromebook_GenericAmazon typically runs sales on their wide assortment of Chromebooks, and the week before Christmas is as good of a time as any. Right now, they’re offering multiple models of Chromebooks from different manufacturers for as much as 30% off, which is a great discount. Right now it doesn’t look like any Samsung models are on sale, but if you’re okay with an Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo or Toshiba Chromebook, you might want to glance over some of the sales.

source: Techno Buffalo

Unlock your Chromebook with a device running Android 5.0 Lollipop

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Have an Android 5.0 device and a Chromebook? If so, you can make the two work together seamlessly. A new feature called Smart Lock allows Lollipop devices to unlock a Chromebook when nearby. Smart Lock forgoes the lockscreen in favor of this wireless sign-in method. Only the account connected to both the Lollipop device and Chromebook activates the feature. And, at this time, Smart Lock is not available directly to all Chrome OS users.

Hit the break for directions, but remember that Smart Lock is recommended only for experienced Chrome OS Dev Channel users. Testing items within the Dev Channel can potentially harm the system.


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Google giving 1TB of free Drive storage to new Chromebook owners

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We expect Chromebooks to be a very hot item for holiday shoppers this year. The devices running Chrome OS are cheap and the hardware is vastly different than what it once was. The value of a Chromebook just keeps getting and better. And it gets even better now because Google is giving new Chromebook owners free Drive storage. How much? An astounding 1TB for two years. That is nearly $240 that you do not have to spend. It is more than enough space for the average user, that’s for sure.

The offer expires on January 1, 2015. Don’t leave it sitting underneath the Christmas tree for too long!

Source: Google Drive Blog

Google updates Chrome OS stable channel

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Google has announced the stable channel for Chrome OS devices will be getting an update over the course of the next couple weeks. Unfortunately, the update will not be hitting all devices as the Dell Chromebook 11, the HP Chromebook 14, the Acer C720 and the Toshiba Chromebook are all excluded. Those who get the update though will enjoy the following new features:

The Google Chrome team indicates the update will take some extra time to get to users as team members enjoy a holiday break next week.

source: Chrome Releases

Skype now available in a web browser without downloading any apps

skype_bannerSkype has announced that they’re finally detangling the video chat service from its traditional Windows or OS X desktop program and offering it in beta through a web browser.

Skype for Web will let you quickly sign into the service on Skype’s web page and immediately begin making video calls without having to download any apps or programs. According to the Skype page, you can get the service started on any modern web browser, but it specifically mentions Chrome for Windows. That’s good news for Chrome users, but the wording of the support page makes it sound like Chromebooks are going to be excluded. 
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Lenovo, Asustek bringing lower cost Chromebooks to market in 2015

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Although Chromebooks have only grabbed a small part of the laptop computer market thus far, despite much success in the education sector, the race to bring out less expensive models to entice buyers appears to be heating up for 2015. A new report from Digitimes Research indicates both Lenovo and Asustek are preparing new Chromebooks equipped with Rockchip technology to hit the market at a $149 price point.

Thus far, most Chromebooks have been priced in the $200 – $300 range, so the products from Lenovo and Asustek could set new lows for notebook devices. Both devices are expected to come with 11.6-inch screens and the Rockchip processors, but other details are not yet known. Acer is currently the biggest Chromebook producer and these new devices would be priced 25% lower than the Acer C720 that runs $199. Digitimes Research indicated that in addition to the price pressure this move will create for other Chromebook producers like Acer, it will also put pressure on Microsoft which has been modifying license costs in an effort to stave off Chromebooks’ growth in the market.

Rockchip is a “first-tier tablet application processor (AP) designer” from China. They have worked with Intel on chip design and distribution. They are also a Google-certified solutions provider.

source: Digitimes