Chrome OS Features to Learn About Before Buying a Chromebook

1 - Chrome OS Features to Learn About Before Buying a Chromebook
2 - Chrome OS Is All About Web Applications
3 - But Users Can Run Their Chrome OS Devices Offline
4 - You Won't Pay for Updates (and They're Downloaded Automatically)
5 - Google Boasts About Its Security
6 - The Software Is Optimized for Battery Life
7 - Expect Data Synchronization Across Android Devices
8 - You Must Have a Google Account to Access Cloud Apps
9 - Chromebooks Provide Multi-Account Support
10 - Product Designs Are Quite Nice
11 - Chrome OS Product Pricing Can't Be Beaten
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Chrome OS Features to Learn About Before Buying a Chromebook

by Don Reisinger

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Chrome OS Is All About Web Applications

The central component in Google's Chrome OS is the Internet. In fact, the entire operating system is based on the idea that the Web is the best operating system there is and that Web pages are really micro applications that people can use for business or entertainment. It's a feature that plays a crucial role in the entire Chrome OS experience.

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But Users Can Run Their Chrome OS Devices Offline

Although the Internet is critical to the Chrome OS experience, Google realized the importance of offline support. So, Chrome OS works both offline and on, allowing users to use apps like Gmail and Google Docs while away from an Internet connection.

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You Won't Pay for Updates (and They're Downloaded Automatically)

Updates for Chrome OS don't come out as prepackaged, named upgrades like they do in Windows and OS X. Instead, Google simply updates Chrome OS on an ongoing basis and does so automatically so the latest features are always running on the owner's device. Updates are hands-off, and that appeals to the IT department that worries about security holes that open when software isn't updated, making applications and data vulnerable to attacks on unpatched platforms.

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Google Boasts About Its Security

Google has made a fuss about the security of Chrome OS, and perhaps for good reason. For one thing, Google relies on the community to comb through the Chrome OS code and find bugs. The company then provides a financial incentive for finding those flaws. It also implements the fixes immediately. In addition, since Chrome OS is not nearly as big of a target as Android or Windows, so far fewer hackers are targeting the operating system. That situation may change, and no OS is entirely free of security flaws. But Google is trying to make Chrome OS as secure as it can.

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The Software Is Optimized for Battery Life

Google's Chrome OS is optimized to maximize battery life on Chromebooks—notebooks running the company's operating system. Part of the reason Chromebooks have such a strong battery life is that the operating system is lightweight and not resource-intensive, since most users access apps running on the Web. Chromebook owners generally are using the device for tasks that require less battery help.

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Expect Data Synchronization Across Android Devices

Customers who own both an Android handset and a Chrome OS-based product will find that all of their work and information are synchronized across devices through their Google account. That allows them to pick up where they left off on each device without losing anything. It's a neat feature that comes in handy for Android users.

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You Must Have a Google Account to Access Cloud Apps

To actually use a Chromebook, customers need to have a Google account. And with that Google account comes everything from Gmail to Google Docs to access to YouTube and Google Drive. In fact, Google apps are everywhere one turns when they boot up a Chrome OS-based device.

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Chromebooks Provide Multi-Account Support

Chromebooks come with multi-account support. So, if a person with one Google account wants to use a Chrome OS device, they'll be able to sign on and access all available Google Apps and data stored in the cloud. Once that user logs off, another person with their own Google account can use the same device to access their data and apps online through their own username. Since these users access their accounts through separate passwords, there should be no data leakage between accounts.

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Product Designs Are Quite Nice

Although Chromebooks were once little more than experimental prototypes that had little aesthetic appeal, that has changed in recent years. Several Chromebooks come with a nice design. There are also several different device types, including a desktop version, called a Chromebox, and an all-in-one. There is no shortage of high-quality, good-looking Chrome OS devices.

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Chrome OS Product Pricing Can't Be Beaten

There is no beating the price on Chrome OS devices. Some of the products running Chrome OS start at $149 and work just fine for most applications. Other nicely equipped Chromebooks cost customers under $300. Only the Chromebook Pixel, the highest-end Chrome OS-based device on the market, breaks the mold at a starting price of $999. Customers on a budget will find a winner in Chromebooks.

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