Intel over the past 18 months or so has made inroads into a Chromebook market that continues to grow as more content is put into the cloud.
Now the giant chip maker wants to make it easier for customers to migrate data and files from their mobile devices or PCs onto their Intel-powered Chromebooks. Intel this week launched a software app called Intel Easy Migration that enables users to move their content—from photos and contacts to documents and video and audio files—from smartphones running Apple's iOS or Google's Android mobile operating systems or from their Windows-based PCs.
Customers can use the app to transfer all the data and files at once by using the Quick Migration feature, or can select specific files to migrate by choosing the Custom Migration setting, according to Intel officials. Users also can pause the migration as they need.
The app is available in the Google Play and Apple App Store online stores, or can be downloaded for Microsoft Windows systems. Through the software, users can migrate their local and Hotmail contacts to Google Contacts, and their photos and videos to Google+ Photos.
The app also will show users how much Google Drive space is being consumed through the migration.
The Intel Easy Migration app comes as Chromebooks grow in popularity, a trend that continued through 2014. In July, analysts with NPD Group found that during the first half of the year, Chromebook sales in the U.S. commercial channel jumped 250 percent from the same period in 2013 and accounted for 35 percent of the notebook sales in the channel.
"Building on last year's surprising strength, Chrome's unit strength ahead of this year's education buying season shows how it has become a legitimate third platform alongside Windows and Mac OS X and iOS," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said in a statement at the time.
IDC analysts also have pointed to Chromebooks as a key reason—along with Microsoft's ending support of Windows XP, the maturation of the tablet market and the growth of newer, slimmer and more affordable designs—that the decline in global PC sales has slowed this year.
The popularity of Chromebooks—which Google originally launched as little more than an appliance for the Chrome browser—is being fueled by a number of factors, including cost (a solid system can cost as little as $250) and a growing comfort with Google Cloud Apps.
In addition, more OEMs are seeing value in the systems. According to NPD analysts, between January and May 2013, Samsung owned 88 percent of the Chromebook market, followed by Acer at 7 percent and the catch-all "all others" at 5 percent. A year later, Samsung's share was down to 48 percent, with Acer having 31 percent of the market and Hewlett-Packard 17 percent. All others—which include the likes of Dell, Toshiba and Asus—had 4 percent.
Intel has been aggressive in pursuing the Chromebook market as part of its larger efforts to gain inroads in the mobile device space against ARM and its manufacturing partners and to extend the reach of its chip portfolio into as many computing devices as possible. That includes supporting a broad range of operating systems, including Windows, Android and Chrome.