Chromebooks celebrate 10th birthday; and boy has the OS come a long way since then…

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Let’s be honest, when Chromebooks first entered the scene a lot of people were somewhat sceptical, not least because a device that relied on a solid Internet connection to just about anything was not looked upon as favourably as it is now – given how patchy Wi-Fi and mobile data coverage was back then.

But ten years on, it has become a major competitor to the incumbent operating systems – with ever improving specifications and additional benefits of improved offline working, Android application support, and Linux. Enterprise users can even run Windows applications; a feature likely to one day become possible for all Chrome OS users.

The latest version of Chrome OS now comes with even more great features for users, such as the Phone Hub that offers a range of functions for Android phone users – like activating a portable hotspot or reading incoming messages.

Wi-Fi Sync works with more devices to let you easily access wireless networks you’ve logged into at least once on a device you’re using.

Other new features include improved screen capturing (for screenshots and screen recording), Tote (which keeps important files close at hand in a single pop-up location), new media controls, and new setup tools for parents to add a child’s personal Google or school account.

On top of that, there are improvements to the clipboard, quick right-click definitions or translations of words (or unit conversions), and more organised desks that can retain their positioning even after a reboot.

Nearby Share will also make an appearance on Chromebooks soon, following its recent introduction on Android devices. This makes sharing files between different devices quick and easy, as well as highly secure.

More information on all of these features can be found here, and you can see some example images below.

Google Blog: Chromebook turns 10: Looking back and moving ahead

10 years ago, computing was complicated. Slow boot times, clunky hardware and intrusive updates were the norm. Computers were invented before the internet, and they hadn’t fully caught up to how people were using the web. So Google set out to design something new. The idea was to create a cloud-first experience that was fast, secure and easy to use — with software that stays up-to-date, automatically. A computer that boots up in seconds, and stays fast over time. 

In 2011 we launched the first Chromebooks in partnership with Acer and Samsung. Today Chromebooks help millions of people stay connected while they work, study and stay entertained; this has never been more true than over the past year. As we celebrate the 10th birthday of Chromebook, we’re taking a look at how Chromebooks have evolved and where we’re headed.

For the past decade, we’ve stayed true to our original vision to make computing simpler and more accessible for everyone. Highlights include the Chromebook Pixel, the first Chromebook with a big, beautiful 3:2 touchscreen, which launched in 2013 and changed how people used their laptops. Then there was the first Chromebook with USB-C technology, introduced in 2015, enabling people to fast-transfer their data  and charge their device quickly — all by using what’s now the  universal standard. And in 2017 we launched Chromebooks with the Google-designed Titan C security chip to keep devices secure and protect user identity. 

Plus, Chromebooks for Education has continued to help teachers and students modernize the learning experience, and Chromebook Enterprise has made IT administration simpler for businesses. Our Google Admin console fundamentally changed how devices are controlled, making it easy to manage thousands of Chromebooks centrally. It helps administrators get their school or business up and running in no time, and removes the day-to-day pains of running IT in large organizations. 

All along the way, we remained committed to making all Chromebooks faster and smarter automatically, with updates that run in the background every few weeks. 

Today, we work with several important partners — Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, AMD, Intel, MediaTek, Qualcomm, among others — to make Chromebooks of all shapes and sizes, and collaborate with over 20 Works With Chromebook partners like Anker and Logitech on compatible accessories so you can get the most out of your Chromebook. And with apps from the web and the Google Play Store, you can get more things done, boost your creativity or simply find fun ways to pass the time.  If gaming is your thing, Cloud gaming platforms like Stadia and GeForce NOW are available on your Chromebook. 

Here’s to the next 10

I remember getting my first computer and using it for just a handful of basic tasks; typing things up in a word processor, doing simple math with its calculator, things like that. Fast forward to today, where we bounce from work to school to watching shows and chatting with friends and family.  We make all of these transitions across multiple devices — phones, tablets, laptops.  And unlike the past, people should have access to their data and a consistent experience across all these tools. So today, we’re celebrating the 10th birthday of Chromebook by launching a suite of features for Chromebook that lets people move between devices with ease, and tools that drastically improve your productivity. 

We are also continuing to make Chromebooks the best devices for teaching and learning, and to help businesses scale.

It’s been 10 years, but this is still just the beginning. We’re continuing to find ways to make the Chromebook experience even more helpful for everyone. Examples include things like utilizing our artificial intelligence technology to help people proactively, integrating sensor technologies for more personalized experiences, expanding our portfolio of devices with cellular connectivity and working endlessly to make your devices work better together. 

Our vision for Chromebooks is to keep helping people get things done and to provide helpful and secure experiences. So here’s to the next 10 years of delivering an intelligent, powerfully simple computer for all.

John Maletis
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