Google Chrome OS to get ‘Now’ update, Beta Channel available for users

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 secret Chrome app launcher tips and tricks that speed up everyday tasks.

Anyone who has used Android can attest to the usefulness of Google Now: After all, it conveniently presents useful bits of timely information—weather, traffic, news headlines, and so on—in a clear, easy-to-parse manner. In an announcement made on Thursday, technology giant Google said that it has efforts underway to incorporate the Google Now platform on its Chrome operating system.

Compared to other operating systems, Google’s Chrome OS is not that well-known, but considering the constantly growing popularity of Chromebooks, the laptops which are using it, it won’t be long until it will join the big league.Chrome OS beta users will be able to test the new Chrome Launcher 2.0, a new feature that comes with a Google search bar, Material Design, and more importantly, Google Now. It packs a surprising amount of Google-y power that can speed up a wide variety of tasks on a Chromebook—and Windows, if you install the Chrome launcher. Instead of a small pop-up that shows all your apps, the new launcher brings up a larger window in the center of the screen—one that looks kind of like Chrome’s “new tab” menu. The company announced on Thursday that they would be incorporating more Google Now features into their Chrome OS, to make their Chromebook PC’s more useful in a broad range of ways.

This week, the search engine giant started inviting people to opt into the beta channel for the Chrome OS, according to Hot Hardware, in order to help them create an even better version of it. The introduction of Google Now support will be important, as it brings the popular Android mobile feature to Chromebooks, allowing users to check their notifications, weather and traffic information, news, and appointments in card form.

This comes at a time when competition between Chromebook and other PC’s – particularly those running Windows operating systems – is at an all-time high. And it’s easy to do: Click your account picture when logged in as the “owner,” go to Settings > About Chrome OS, click More info, then click Change channel… to make the switch. Your four most recent apps appear below your search box, along with a button to show “all apps.” Beneath these apps, the launcher will show information cards from Google Now, similar to how they appear on phones and tablets. According to the details shared by Google, the forthcoming Chrome OS Beta update will come with second-generation launcher – Google Launcher 2.0 – which will open into a large, centralized window as the focus of the users’ display.

Your Chromebook will pull up suggestions from your search history, bookmarks, frequently-visited sites, and—of course—Google’s auto-suggestions from the Internet and Chrome Web Store. After using this method to navigate the web, Windows or OS X will suddenly start to feel slower by comparison… though the Chrome app launcher offers the same functionality on those operating systems. We’d also like to know if you think that this operating system has a chance of becoming way more used than it’s currently is, if Google decides to promote it a bit more.

The keyboard commands are pretty straightforward: Use the forward slash for fractions and division, the x for multiplication, and the period for decimals. There are also several recognizable voice commands that will perform a function, such as setting a timer, or creating a reminder that will sync to Chrome on any device. For example, when you right-click (accomplished by tapping two fingers on the Chromebook trackpad) on an app’s icon, you’ll find some additional options. You can open a Chrome app in its own window, for instance, which is useful if you want a desktop-type experience by having different apps and web services running discretely.

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