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Showing posts from August 11, 2019

Google Finally Pitches Chromebooks to Consumers

Google has updated the Chromebooks landing page and is doing a Chrome OS marketing campaign. These promotional activities focus on consumers and switching to a Chromebook from a traditional desktop operating system.

Hallelujah!

So far Google targeted Chromebooks to the educational and corporate worlds, where it was easier to get a head start, and more recently to creators. But it has always been in the consumer space where Chromebooks can provide significant benefits to the majority of ordinary desktop users at home. They spend most of the time in a browser anyway and Chrome OS offers additional advantages such as nearly no maintenance, simplicity, improved security, unobtrusive system updates, affordability, and more.

Now, if only Google could make it easier for consumers to buy Chromebooks outside of the US...

The Killer Use for My Google Home Mini

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I found the killer use for my Google Home Mini: listening to podcasts and audiobooks while in bed.

The device provides the perfect combination of content and user experience. Audiobooks and podcasts are good bedtime content and I can operate the Home Mini completely hands-free. Using a phone wouldn't be as convenient for me, as the closest thing I have to a bed stand to set my phone to is not within arm’s reach.


The commands to operate audiobooks and podcasts are few and very simple, which contributes to a smooth experience.

How to listen to audiobooks I began getting audiobooks only recently. I buy them at Google Play Books and the Home Mini accesses the books from there. Although there are several commands to control audiobook playback, I use only a couple to start listening to an audiobook from where I left off and end a reading session:
“OK Google, read Book Title”“OK Google, read my book” for the most recent one“OK Google, stop”
How to listen to podcasts The selection of podca…

How to Work Offline With a Chromebook

My daily driver on the desktop is a Chromebox.

Although I have also a Chromebook, my mobility needs are pretty limited and I don’t move the device much, not even across rooms. Therefore, since I have an excellent Internet connection and good Wi-Fi at home, I virtually never use Chrome OS offline.

But I found JR Raphael’s guide to using a Chromebook offline useful and I encourage you to read it, especially because working offline with Chrome OS devices is a little known, often misunderstood feature. The key insight is working offline with a Chromebook requires some preliminary steps:

configuring Google’s web apps for offline usebookmarking the web apps you needdownloading the Google Drive files you plan to work on
The guide provides all the details and a few more tips, for example for finding Android or Linux replacements for web apps that, like Google Calendar, don’t provide offline support.