Tag Archives: Google

Google Crostini Brings Linux Apps on Chromebooks

By Radu Iorga

After basically bringing Android to Chrome OS devices over the past year, it’s now time to go further. There’s been proof of dual boot coming to Chromebooks recently and now Linux apps are here via a Google Crostini initiative.

People have playing with GNU/Linux distributions on Chromebooks for some time now, so I’m not exactly shocked by this development. Some people replace Chrome OS, others go with dual boot systems, but Crouton seems to be a favourite. This one lets you install a Linux distribution in a chroot environment. From there you can run Ubuntu or other OS alongside Chrome OS and switch between them at will, without rebooting.

An even easier way is available, dubbed Crostini (what’s with the food names?!) and it makes it possible to run Linux apps on Chromebooks. People who own Pixelbooks are able to test the feature as of right now. Expect a rollout to additional devices in the near future. Crostini works like this: you open a crosh terminal by typing CTRL + alt_t on a Chromebook and then you enter a few lines of text into the terminal.

What Crostini does is it creates a Linux virtual machine that lets you install and run desktop Linux apps. People have even been writing code on the Chromebook recently. GIMP was made to run on the Pixelbook and so much more. Crostini is still in development, so give it time. It could be buggy, it’s definitely not stable, so wait a bit, if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Photo source and extra info

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Google Developing AltOS Mode for PixelBook; Here’s Proof

By Radu Iorga

The Google Pixelbook may not have been selling exactly like hot cakes, but it’s got one thing going for it: the ability to experiment. The flagship Chrome OS machine has been getting action from Android, Play Store, Fuchsia and probably even Andromeda in experimental fashion. Now it’s ready to get a so called “AltOS” mode.

It’s not very clear what this mode does, but there’s a chance it’ll let people do some dual boot action on the device. Imagine booting another OS other than Chrome OS on the machine, how cool is that? It may also just be a mode to let developers boot more easily into Fuchsia OS, Google’s OS that’s under development right now. The commit comments show that “go/vboot-windows” is mentioned, so we may also get Windows as an option on the Pixelbook, natively even.

The PixelBook was by no means a bad machine, but the high price was the problem with it. It’s more than capable of running Windows or whatever other OS you throw at it. Now if only Google figured out a way to alternate between Chrome OS and the other platform faster and more efficient than those dual boot Android/Windows tablets out there… Those take even minutes to switch between OSes.

I still have my money on Fuchsia though.

 

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Google Assistant Now Working on Google Pixel C Tablets

By Radu Iorga

Google continues to expand the functionality of the Google Pixel C tablet, even though it’s been available for a while now and other companies would have neglected some of its updates. Google Assistant is for example available on the device and yes, I know it’s very late to the party.

Other Android tablets already had this solution installed for a while now, so it was bound to come here. Google Assistant has been on Pixel phones from the start and then it spread like wilfdire to many devices, even including speakers, headphones and appliances. The Pixel C was an odd duck lacking support for it. From what I hear, Google Lens isn’t supported yet, which is no surprise, seeing how it has just reached non Pixel phones.

At least you can use the Assistant in landscape mode, where other tablets would require a portrait mode. Why did Google leave the Pixel C without Assistant for so long? Well, it’s a 3 year old slate, it didn’t sell very well, let’s face it and it was pricey for a long time. We’re now waiting on Google I/O and a new generation of Google Assistant, perhaps also a new generation of Pixel C Tablet, who knows?

Even the iPads had the Google solution, by the way.

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Google ends major OS support for Nexus phones and Pixel tablet

By Ron Amadeo

The first developer preview for the next major version of Android—Android P—is out today. These releases occasionally come out for supported Google devices, giving developers a heads-up on what changes to expect from a coming release. The supported device list for this release is a little slim, though. The Android P Developer Preview only works on the Pixel 1 and 1 XL, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, and that’s it. Support has been dropped for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C tablet, which is a big change from the Android 8.1 Developer Preview.

After checking with Google, we confirmed that this isn’t a fluke of the developer preview program—the Nexus 5X, 6P, and Pixel C won’t be getting the final release of Android P. While they will still receive monthly security updates, Android 8.1 was the last major Android release for the Nexus phones and Pixel tablet.

The Nexus 6P and 5X launched with an update policy of two years for major OS updates and three years for security updates. They all launched in Q4 2015, so the two-year update window has been closed for some time now. In fact, technically they shouldn’t even have received an update to Android 8.1. Monthly security updates will still continue until at least November 2018.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica


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Google Joins the Universal Stylus Initiative, Trying to Increase Pen Adoption

By Radu Iorga

Google has just joined the Universal Stylus Initiative, an organization that promotes pen usage and tries to achieve an unified standard for styli on mobile devices. Such accessories have been used on Galaxy Note devices, some tablets and even some convertibles and laptops launched over the past years.

Google is now part of the USI (Universal Stylus Initiative), that serves to adopt an unified and standardized stylus specification. Actually, the big G is just one of the 5 new members, including 3M, Touch Systems, Lattice Semiconductor, Maxeye Smart Technologies and MyScript.

The total membership is at 30 companies and includes big names like Intel, Lenovo, Synaptics and Wacom. Dell, LG Display and Sharp are also in the mix. The USI 1.0 Stylus and Device Specification was finalized back in September 2016, allowing various pens from a variety of companies to work on multiple devices. That works via a two-way communication protocol, that shares data like pressure levels, button presses and eraser operation.

Starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google proposed a standard data format for stylus connections via Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and USB. The standard also supports 9 axis inertial measurement and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. With Google on board we may just see more Chrome OS tablets like the leaked Acer one getting their share of stylus action.

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