The Know It Guy

Is Chrome OS proper for you? A three-question quiz to find out

Google’s Chrome OS is one of the international’s maximum misunderstood computing structures. Chromebooks are foundationally one-of-a-kind from traditional PCs, after all — and therefore, there are a lot of misconceptions about how they paintings and what they are able to and can not do.Being Mad

Since human beings are constantly asking me whether a Chromebook is probably right for their wishes, I concept I’d put together a short guide to assist the sort of wonderers figure it out. Whether it is you or someone who’s curious, the following 3 questions have to assist shed a few mild on what the platform’s all approximately and for whom it makes sense.

1. Do you spend most of your time the usage of the web and web-centric offerings?

 

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Think carefully here, as the solution would possibly marvel you: What do you do most customarily on a PC?

If most of the people of it slow is spent in a web browser — whether it’s analyzing news stories, browsing social media, or the usage of internet-centric offerings like Gmail and Google Docs — then Chrome OS would probably meet your wishes just exceptional. In truth, there’s a terrific chance it would virtually make matters easier than what you’re used to with a conventional PC setup (more on why in a minute).

Now, it is essential to word that simply because something is “internet-centric” would not always mean you need to be on-line in order for it to paintings. One of the maximum common misconceptions I listen about Chromebooks is that they’re completely useless with out an active internet connection. In truth, a large and ever-increasing wide variety of Chrome OS-well matched apps works each on line and off, together with things like Gmail and Google Docs as well as calculator apps, calendar apps, information-analyzing apps, games, and even Google Play Movies. (You can browse via the “Offline” phase of Google’s Chrome Web Store for lots more examples.)

The truth is that for most of the people, using a Chromebook offline isn’t terribly special than the usage of a conventional PC offline. You are not going in an effort to get on the internet or download new content material, glaringly, however other than things that inherently require an lively connection, there is not a heck of plenty you would want to do that wouldn’t be available.

2. Do you’ve got unique nearby applications that you truly need, or could maximum of the stuff you do on a PC be carried out with web-centric (and/or Android app) equivalents?

Take a second to reflect consideration on what programs you use which can be domestically installed in your PC — things like phrase processors, email apps, image and video editing software program, useful resource-extensive video games, or area of expertise software program you need to your work.

Now think about how lots of those programs may want to or could not get replaced with internet-centric equivalents and/or Android apps — the latter of which are now available to put in and use on a growing wide variety of Chrome OS devices (and make no mistake approximately it: Their presence is a pretty huge deal).

If you use Outlook for e-mail, for example, would you be ok with the use of both Microsoft’s Outlook.Com or Google’s Gmail instead — or with the usage of the Outlook Android app? If you rely on Microsoft Word to your PC, might Microsoft’s Office Online app or Google’s Google Docs application do the trick just as properly — or could you get by means of with the Word Android app, which requires an lively subscription for complete modifying functionality? If you use Adobe Photoshop for photo enhancing, might an internet-centric suite like Pixlr be powerful enough to your needs — or would one of the many Android photo-editing apps (Adobe-made or in any other case) be enough on your desires?

If the answers are “yes” or maybe “perhaps,” then Chrome OS ought to be just right for you. If, however, you have got particular nearby software program which you virtually need and that has no appropriate web-centric or Android app equivalent, getting into a Chromebook might be a stretch. While Chrome OS has lots of viable options for not unusual normal computing obligations, you are not going to locate any strong multimedia editors designed for the web, nor will you find internet-centric variations of many specialty enterprise programs that have been created with Windows in mind. The Android app availability may additionally fill a number of the ones voids, but it can’t cover they all (specifically in terms of the custom company program class).

There is one more asterisk to that: Google gives an easy tool known as Chrome Remote Desktop that helps you to faucet into a traditional PC from a Chromebook and paintings on it remotely. With that device, you could effectively use neighborhood PC software through the Chromebook, furnished you have got a PC that’s on and available for the faraway consultation. It’s now not entirely ideal, but depending on your scenario and the way often you use the local PC software program, it might be sufficient to bridge the distance.

Three. Try living simplest inside the Chrome browser to your PC for a week, with out establishing any nearby packages. How does it sense?

This is the real test. And allow’s be clear: In order for this to paintings, you’ll probable must make a few modifications on your habitual — switching to net-centric apps like Docs for phrase processing if you haven’t already, uploading any pertinent files to an Internet storage provider like Dropbox or Drive, and so forth. Spend a couple of minutes browsing through the Chrome Web Store to locate the tools you need, then provide it a sincere cross.

Optional: If you experience such as you want the presence of Android apps to bridge the distance, clutch Bluestacks — a free PC- and Mac-compatible application that lets you use Android apps on a traditional-OS computer. It isn’t always best and is some distance less native-feeling than what you’ll get with Chrome OS (it essentially just puts an emulated Android pill into a window for your display screen, and then you definitely click on round on it to put in and run something apps you need), but for those take a look at-run functions, it ought to be appropriate sufficient to present you a basic concept of what types of matters you will and might not be able to do.

If you may ignore your neighborhood PC programs for every week and get the entirety you need to be executed for your browser and/or in Android apps with out tons trouble, Chrome OS will simply be just right for you. If it’s a battle, you can want to assume twice about going the Chromebook route.

Now, remember that that is simply a simulation — a take a look at of the fundamental gear and barriers of the Chrome OS environment. Crucially, at the same time as the restrictions are similar, the usage of simplest a browser on a PC is not the equal revel in you’d get on a real Chromebook, Android apps or no longer. (That’s another one of those pesky Chrome OS myths.)

Jessica J. Underwood

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