ChromeOS: Tips, tools, and other Chromebook intelligence

Your one-stop source for ChromeOS advice, insight, and analysis — from someone who's covered Chromebooks closely since the start.

Chrome OS Chromebooks
JR Raphael, IDG

Google's ChromeOS platform sure has come a long way.

From the early days, when ChromeOS was little more than an experimental "browser in a box," to today — with the platform powering first-class hardware and supporting a diverse range of productivity applications — Google's once-crazy-seeming project has turned into one of the world's most intriguing and rapidly expanding technological forces.

I've been covering ChromeOS closely since the start. I lived with the first Chromebook prototype, the Cr-48, and have used Chromebooks as part of my own personal computing setup in varying capacities ever since. I write about the field not only as someone who's studied it professionally from day 1 but also as someone who has used it personally that entire time, up through today.

So whether you're relatively new to the realm of ChromeOS or are a Chromebook veteran yourself, I'm happy to join you on your journey and act as your guide. On this page, you'll find all my latest ChromeOS coverage — the original analysis, the tips 'n' tricks, and everything in between. I'll be updating it regularly as new subjects come up, so check back often and stay ahead of the curve with your Chromebook knowledge.

ChromeOS basics

Is ChromeOS right for you? A 3-question quiz to find out

Chromebooks aren't like regular computers — so are they right for your needs? These three questions will help you (or anyone else you know) find the answer.

The most important thing to check before buying a Chromebook

Save yourself from buyer's remorse by thinking through what a ChromeOS device-maker won't tell you.

Chromebook cheat sheet: How to get started

Got a new Chromebook? This guide will help you navigate the ever-expanding world of Chromebook apps and figure out how to make the most of ChromeOS.

The smart worker's guide to using a Chromebook offline

ChromeOS may be cloud-centric at its core, but you can get plenty accomplished offline on a Chromebook — if you set things up thoughtfully in advance.

4 crazy Chromebook myths, debunked

Realize it or not, you (and/or your friends and colleagues) have probably heard plenty of hokum about Google's ChromeOS platform. Time to separate fact from fiction.

6 important things you might not know about ChromeOS upgrades

Google's ChromeOS isn't like other operating systems, and the way it handles upgrades is no exception.

Meet ChromeOS Flex, Google's new weapon for desktop domination

Is that an old Windows system or a current ChromeOS computer? Google's blurring the lines of desktop computing in some seriously shape-shifting ways.

Reality check: Can you use a Chromebook for work?

Some fresh perspective on a Chromebook's capabilities for professionals.

ChromeOS tips and advice

50 Chromebook tips for maximum productivity

Supercharge your ChromeOS experience with these time-saving tricks and techniques.

8 fast fixes for common ChromeOS problems

Solve your Chromebook woes and keep yourself productive with these easy-to-implement, expert-approved solutions.

6 useful ChromeOS features you probably aren't using

Teach your Chromebook some helpful new tricks and set yourself up for more effective work — and play.

22 worthwhile ways to use Google Assistant on a Chromebook

Google Assistant is finally working its way into the fabric of ChromeOS, and it's bringing with it some interesting new possibilities — as outlined here.

11 smart steps for managing files on a Chromebook

Working in ChromeOS? These are the efficiency-enhancing file tricks you've been missing.

11 tips for wicked-fast Chromebook web browsing

Zoom around your browser like nobody's business with these easy-to-miss ChromeOS maneuvers.

3 smart shortcuts for a curiously hidden ChromeOS command

Chromebook owners, take note: These are the shortcuts you've been missing.

How ChromeOS Virtual Desks could change the way you work

A new feature coming to Chromebooks has tons of productivity potential — but it's up to you to put it to use.

Android apps for Chromebooks: The essentials

Turn your Chromebook into a uniquely versatile modern computing machine with these ChromeOS-enhancing apps.

Linux apps on ChromeOS: An easy-to-follow guide

Linux apps can expand your Chromebook's capabilities and open up all sorts of interesting options — but first, you have to know where to begin.

The best Linux apps for Chromebooks

Make your Chromebook even more capable with this carefully selected set of Linux apps for expanding ChromeOS's potential as a business tool.

Crank up your Chromebook's cloud-connecting power

With a few simple tweaks, your Chromebook can become an even more connected part of your cloud-centric setup.

How to turn any website into a custom ChromeOS app

A handy hack for customizing your Chromebook and bringing native app-like experiences to your favorite sites and services.

A time-saving typing tool that works anywhere in Chrome

Reclaim wasted time and watch your efficiency soar with this spectacularly useful cross-platform add-on.

A clever way to bring widgets into ChromeOS

Ever wish your Chromebook desktop could do more? This crafty hack is just the productivity-boosting upgrade you need.

ChromeOS analysis

Android tablets? Chromebook tablets? How Google thinks both can thrive

With Google renewing its focus on Android tablets, what's in the cards for the future of ChromeOS? Here, for the first time, are some inside answers.

A fascinating twist at the intersection of Android and ChromeOS

Think you've seen all there is to see with Google's Android-ChromeOS alignment? Think again.

Google's grand ChromeOS plan is finally coming into focus

A seemingly small switch gives us a monumental clue about the future of ChromeOS — and maybe beyond.

What ChromeOS needs to conquer next

Google's Chromebooks are constantly evolving and expanding in reach, but there's one tremendous opportunity still begging to be seized.

Google's ChromeOS upgrade changes are a solid start

Google is committing to a more sensible approach for Chromebook software support. Huzzah! Now let's see where this takes us.

It's time to rethink the ChromeOS upgrade standard

The column that was written one month before Google committed to change. As I wrote then: Google's handling of ChromeOS upgrades has long been an asset for the platform — but now, it's starting to become a liability.

The wild thing about Windows apps on ChromeOS

With Google now offering a way to run Windows software on Chromebooks, things are about to get seriously weird.

Hands on: What it's actually like to use Windows apps on ChromeOS

An up-close look at Google's business-aimed plan for making Windows apps available on Chromebooks and what it's like to rely on in the real world.

Want even more ChromeOS knowledge? Sign up for my weekly Android Intelligence newsletter to get fresh insight into all things Google, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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