Feeds

Google Chromebooks molt, grow fresh browser

Two month olds get new lease on life

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has released a new version of Chrome OS – the browser-based operating system that first arrived less than two months ago – offering VPN hooks, 802.1x secure Wi-Fi , and what the company claims is a 32 per cent faster resume time.

The new stable release is based on Chrome 13, so it also includes "Instant Pages" – a service that attempts to accelerate your Google searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them.

Chrome OS officially arrived on June 15 atop two Google Chromebooks: one built by Acer, the other by Samsung. The OS is essentially a modified Linux kernel that runs a single local application: Google's Chrome browser. It moves (most all of) your applications and data to the interwebs.

Google pitches Chrome OS as an operating system that's eternally improving. The Chrome browser is on what used to be considered a rapid six-to-eight-week release cycle, and Chrome OS will updated just as rapidly, with updates automatically pushed down to devices. "One of the things that excites us about Chromebooks is that unlike other computers, the user experience automatically gets better over time," Google says in a blog post announcing the latest release.

The flip side is that compared to traditional desktop operating system, Chrome OS is rather limited. And it does even less if you lose your internet connection.

Though Google claims a 32 per cent faster time with the new release, the resume time on our Samsung notebook was already so fast, we didn't really notice an improvement. Chromebooks use solid state flash drive rather than old school hard disks, and they not only resume quickly but boots quickly. Ours boots in about ten seconds.

The OS now supports VPNs using L2TP over IPsec with pre-shared keys. It lets you mount Android devices via USB. And Google's Cloud Print tool now lets you grab documents and save them as PDFs on Google Docs, the company's online word processor and file storage service. Google has also rolled out various big and crash fixes.

Separately, several Google partners have apparently released web-based applications to coincide with the new OS release. Google's Chrome Web Store now offers a Netflix app; Amazon's Kindle Cloud reader, which lets you read Kindle ebooks even when offline; and a "tech preview" of the Citrix Receiver, which lets you run traditional desktop applications on Chromebooks. When you complain that Chromebooks don't run good old fashioned Windows apps, Google inevitably points to Citrix Receiver. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.