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  1. steven36

    Chrome OS has stalled out

    Nearly ten years ago, Google shipped an unassuming, totally unbranded laptop to a large group of journalists and tech enthusiasts as part of a 60,000 unit pilot program. That laptop was the CR-48, and it was designed to showcase a project Google had been working on internally for well over a year. It was called Chrome OS. I was among the first of those lucky folks to receive a CR-48, and I used it as much as humanly possible for almost a year. It was kind of the worst: constant crashes, an insanely slow single-core Intel Atom processor, and questionable build quality would make it clear to anyone that it was very much a product built for dogfooding, not as a replacement for your Windows or Mac notebook. I loved my CR-48 in a very weird, semi-abusive sort of way; I would curse its abominable slowness, slam it shut when it would lose all of my tabs for no apparent reason, lament the mushy keyboard, and just about smack myself in the forehead when I'd run through my monthly 100MB of CDMA data allowance and couldn't find Wi-Fi, rendering the machine useless. Of course, that was also a very different time. In 2010, Wi-Fi wasn't nearly as ubiquitous as it is today. Tethering was something I would only do under the most urgent of circumstances, given my (rooted) phone's measly data plan allowance. The Chromebook was here, but the world wasn't quite ready for the Chromebook. In 2019, a public space, restaurant, or even a shopping center without free Wi-Fi is basically unconscionable. Tethering using your smartphone is easier and more practical than ever. Connectivity is all around us, and technologies like Bluetooth and mesh networking have made our lives the most wire-free they've been since, well, wires were a thing. We live in a world where the Chromebook, and Chrome OS, should be thriving. But increasingly, it looks like Google's cloud-first laptop platform has hit a dead end, and I'm not sure there are many available detours that can get it back on track. Apps are not a solution Chrome's problems really became apparent to me when Android app compatibility was introduced, around five years ago. (This also isn't the first time we've pointed out that approach's failings, Corbin did so in an editorial last year.) Getting Android apps to run on Chrome OS was simultaneously one of the Chrome team's greatest achievements and one of its worst mistakes. In 2019, two things are more obvious than ever about the Android app situation on Chrome. The first is that the "build it and they will come" mantra never panned out. Developers never created an appreciable number of Android app experiences designed for Chrome (just as they never did for Android tablets). The second is that, quite frankly, Android apps are very bad on Chrome OS. Performance is highly variable, and interface bugs are basically unending because most of those apps were never designed for a point-and-click operating system. Sure, they crash less often than they did in the early days, but anyone saying that Android apps on Chrome OS are a good experience is delusional. Those apps are also a crutch that Chrome leans on to this day. Chrome OS doesn't have a robust photo editor? Don't worry, you can download an app! Chrome doesn't have native integration with cloud file services like Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive? Just download the app! Chrome doesn't have Microsoft Office? App! But this "solution" has basically become an insult to Chrome's users, forcing them to live inside a half-baked Android environment using apps that were almost exclusively designed for 6" touchscreens, and which exist in a containerized state that effectively firewalls them from much of the Chrome operating system. As a result, file handling is a nightmare, with only a very limited number of folders accessible to those applications, and the task of finding them from inside those apps a labyrinthine exercise no one should have to endure in 2019. This isn't a tenable state of affairs—it's computing barbarism as far as I'm concerned. And yet, I've seen zero evidence that the Chrome team intends to fix it. It's just how it is. But Android apps, so far as I can tell, are basically the plan for Chrome. Certainly, Linux environment support is great for enthusiasts and developers, but there are very few commonly-used commercial applications available on Linux, with no sign that will change in the near future. It's another dead end. And if you want an even more depressing picture of Chrome's content ecosystem, just look at the pitiable situation with web apps. Features that never seem to come A lack of native applications may be Chrome's biggest structural problem in the long term, but in the here and now, the Chrome team has simply failed to innovate in ways that the platform so desperately needs to remain competitive with Windows and Mac OS. Where is biometric support (we got it on the Pixel Slate, but nowhere else)? Desktop customization? Where are LTE Chromebooks? HDR? Phone notification mirroring (really, any meaningful phone integration)? Dual booting (cancelled)? Network-attached storage? A remotely passable file directory? A dark theme (soon, allegedly)? Even rudimentary video or audio editing? The fact is, laptops aren't something everybody has anymore—phones have filled that need for many, many people. Those that are buying laptops are using them much more as tools than they were when Chrome OS debuted 10 years ago. But Chromebooks just aren't very good tools. And to be sure, some of these things are probably languishing on an internal tracker somewhere at Google, some of them may depend on the support of other companies (Intel, for example), and some of them may depend on the work of other groups at Google (like the Android team). But it doesn't make these omissions any less glaring. As professional laptops from Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, Dell, and others make obvious, Chromebooks are far more easily defined by what they don't do, because the features that do make Chrome OS unique are of so little consequence in light of its limitations. I say this even as one of the few people who can do 95% of my job on a Chromebook: that 5%, when you really, really need it, is more than enough reason to avoid a platform entirely. And for many others, it's much more than 5%: it's their entire workflow. Built for the future—one we never got Increasingly, I get the sense that Google is largely content with Chrome OS as it sits, and that it serves the US education market well enough that it sees radical changes as unnecessary; it will simply wait for the web to "catch up" to traditional operating systems. But with products like the Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go (and the disastrous Pixel Slate), it's clear that Google's hardware team very much wants us to believe that Chrome OS is a real laptop-ready platform right now. And even as someone with all the love in the world for Google's hardware design team (the Pixelbook is truly a wonderfully designed laptop), it frustrates me endlessly to see such excellent hardware showcasing a platform that has very much begun to languish. It's like going through all the trouble of building a beautiful custom home... and then filling it with furniture from Walmart. The failure to fulfill that potential is maddening. And yes, there are plenty of people out there perfectly happy with their Chromebooks. They make excellent (and often very affordable) couch and bedside web surfers, and they're great as portable displays for streaming whatever's on Netflix. I would never go so far as to say Chromebooks are without function—they have many perfectly valid uses. They are the true spiritual successors to the netbooks of yore. But as things stand, I don't ever see them becoming more than that. And I don't see the position they've carved out as an invulnerable one: Chrome OS accounts for a mere 6.5% of personal computers in the US, and a far, far smaller proportion globally. Much of that 6.5% is likely the tens of millions of Chromebooks in American schools (Google's growth in that market also seems to be leveling out). We've all been spun the tale that Chrome is a platform built for computing's future, on the web. I, for one, am tired of waiting for the web to catch up. After 10 years, I think it's safe to say that Google's crystal ball was busted. Source
  2. New Chrome OS update adds virtual desktops, improved printer management In accordance with its six-week update cycle, Google has released a new version of Chrome OS to compatible Chromebooks, bringing the system to version 77. The new update brings with it a pretty significant new feature called Virtual Desks, which is very similar to the virtual desktops feature in Windows 10. It helps you separate different kinds of apps into separate environments, so things are a little more organized. To access your Virtual Desks, you'll need to open Overview once you've installed the latest update, and they'll be at the top of the screen. There are also some keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to use Virtual Desks, such as Search + Shift + = to create a new Desk, or Search + ] to switch between Desks. The remaining changes aren't as flashy, but printers should now be easier to use, as compatible printers will automatically be added to the printer list without the need for any additional setup. It's also now possible to send phone numbers from the web to your phone to call them. Finally, Google has made it easier to send feedback about the OS, with a new button in the power menu. The update is rolling out to users over the next few days, so you may not see it right away. Source: New Chrome OS update adds virtual desktops, improved printer management (Neowin)
  3. Save downloads in Chrome to Date folders automatically Organize Downloads by Date is an extension for the Google Chrome web browser that saves downloads to date folders automatically. Chrome, like any other browser out there, saves downloads to a single directory by default. On Windows, it is usually the Downloads folder on the system that everything gets saved to. While that works for many users, as all downloads are found easily that way, it may be problematic for users who download a lot of files or want to better keep track of their activity. Sorting downloads into folders is not a new concept entirely. We reviewed the excellent Firefox add-on Sort Downloads back in 2008 (no longer available) which could be used to set custom folders based on a file's extension, and the equally good Automatic Save Folder extension (also no longer available). Another popular option was to run local tools to sort files in the download folder to improve organization. Windows users could use programs like SubDiv, I Like To Move It, or File Sieve, or good old Windows Explorer. The Google Chrome extension Organize Downloads by Date adds an automated option to the web browser. Once installed, it sorts files into date folders automatically based on the current date. The sorting saves downloads automatically to subfolders of the main downloads folder using the format Year/Month. For November 2019, downloads would be put into the folder Downloads/2019/11; once December 2019 is reached, downloads are put into Downloads/2019/12 instead. The sorting happens automatically and with zero user interaction. The folders are created automatically as well and Chrome's own downloads manager opens the right location when you select to open a download in its local folder. Organize Downloads by Date is an open source extension. You can check out the source code of the extension on the project's GitHub website if you want to analyze it or use the excellent Chrome Extensions Source Viewer to view its files before installation. Closing Words Chrome users who want better manageability of their downloads may install Organize Downloads by Date to save downloads automatically to Year/Date folders. The extension should work in the majority of Chromium-based browsers out there as well but I did not test that. Source: Save downloads in Chrome to Date folders automatically (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Last week at the Android Dev Summit, Google announced a feature that Chrome OS enthusiasts have wanted for years: the ability to sideload Android apps without enabling Developer Mode. We’ve seen code commits in the past that would have enabled this feature, but none of those implementations ever made their way to the stable channel. Now that Google has officially confirmed this feature will arrive in Chrome OS 80, which is set for a stable release in the second week of February 2020, we no longer need to religiously monitor the Chromium Gerrit for this feature addition. As you can see in the featured image above, retrieved via AboutChromebooks, Google is adding this feature to let Android app developers deploy their apps straight from Android Studio. With a 22% growth in year-on-year Chromebook sales (from September of 2018 to August of 2019) and the total amount of time spent on Android apps on Chrome OS grown by a factor of 4, Android app developers are incentivized to bring their work to Chromebooks. Developing for Chromebooks requires considerations like how your app reacts to changes in display modes (laptop and tablet), window management (multi-window and free-form windows), and keyboard/mouse input, so it’s recommended to test your app on native hardware. To that end, Google pushed to make Chrome OS more developer-friendly by adding a Linux container last year, enabling the ability to run the Linux version of Android Studio. While you can develop and build Android apps on a Chromebook, deploying the app is a bit of a headache. Currently, the recommended way to sideload an Android app on Chrome OS is to enable Developer Mode. With Developer Mode enabled, sideloading an Android app is as simple as clicking on your compiled APK file. However, Developer Mode is inherently insecure as it relaxes verified boot protections and grants access to a root shell. It’s also a pain to deal with since it requires powerwashing (factory resetting) your device and dealing with an annoying warning screen that you have to manually bypass on every boot. Thankfully, when Chrome OS 80 rolls out in the stable channel in February 2020, all developers will be able to deploy their Android apps straight from Android Studio onto their Chromebook, without having to enable Developer Mode. If you’re on the Chrome OS Dev channel, you’ll be able to test this out as early as late next month. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Google intends for this feature to be used by end-users. According to the commit that likely implements this feature, this feature requires Crostini (Linux app support) to be enabled, limiting which Chromebooks will have access to the feature. Furthermore, disabling the feature requires a powerwash. If you’re comfortable with the command line, though, sideloading Android apps should be as simple as using “adb install.” Alternatively, you could just “adb push” the APK, enter “adb shell,” and then use “pm install,” right now. Source: Google says Chrome OS 80 will bring easier Android app sideloading for developers (via XDA Developers) p/s: While this news is also about Android app sideloading, but this article is best suited to be placed under Software News as the main post talks about Chrome OS which is installed on laptops (and even CPU's as well).
  5. The M355 and K580 are optimized for Google devices. Now that the Pixelbook Go is here, you might want a mouse and keyboard to go with it. Logitech, unsurprisingly, is happy to oblige -- the company has unveiled its first Made for Google devices, the M355 Portable Wireless Mouse (not shown to scale) and K580 Slim Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard, Chrome OS Edition. The K580 is the highlight, packing both a row of Chrome OS shortcut keys as well as a dedicated Google Assistant key for your voice queries. You'll also find a built-in cradle to rest your Pixel phone (or any phone, really) while you're getting work done, and a button lets you switch between three different devices if you like to bring your keyboard around. A maximum three-year (!) battery life guarantees that you won't be swapping cells very often. The M355 is more of a garden variety mouse with basic buttons, a rubber scroll wheel and the option of using either Bluetooth or Logitech's usual USB receiver. It lasts up to 18 months on battery, so it's far from an energy hog. Both devices are available today, and appear to be priced right for their modest feature sets at $50 for the K580 keyboard and $30 for the M355. You can certainly get more powerful mice and keyboards, but Logitech is clearly wagering that the cost and no-fuss designs will be appealing to Chromebook buyers looking to expand beyond basic input. More at: (Logitech) Source
  6. Google Will Make Chrome OS Feel More Like Windows 10 One of the features that Google apparently has in mind for its increasingly-popular Chrome OS platform would make it feel and work more like Windows 10. As discovered in a Chromium commit, Google Chrome OS could at some point get support for virtual desktops, a feature that already exists in Windows and which would technically make it easier to work on a laptop with several apps and activities on the screen. While I’ve never been a fan of multiple desktops, they could come in incredibly helpful to those who just want to organize apps in separate groups without having to deal with a cluttered desktop. This appears to be the main idea behind Google’s update as well, though for the time being it seems we’re still in the early development phase of the feature.Feature still in its early daysThe video that you can see below shows the original implementation of virtual desktops in Chrome OS, and by the looks of things, it works exactly as you’d expect it to do. Users can open the virtual desktop UI using a dedicated button and then create new desktops or manage the existing ones. Most likely, Chrome OS will also offer additional functionality, such as the possibility of dragging one application from a desktop to another and to provide a different name for each desktop. This will make the overall experience with virtual desktops more seamless. For the time being, however, there’s still no ETA as to when it could be released, but it’s pretty clear Google wants to turn Chrome OS into a more capable rival to Windows 10. Chrome OS has grown a lot lately, especially in the education sector, so features like this would make it a truly powerful alternative to Microsoft’s operating system, even for other categories of users. Source
  7. Soon enough, USB devices won't work on locked Chrome OS devices, and that's a good thing. According to Chrome Story, Google has been working on a new safety feature that can already be found in the Canary build. Called USBGuard, it makes sure the machine doesn't read or execute any code from a USB device plugged into the device after it had been locked. The latest Canary version has this, among patch updates: “Lock new USB devices at the lock screen. Prevents newly connected USB devicesfrom operating at the lock screen until Chrome OS is unlocked to protect against malicious USB devices. Already connected USB devices will continue to function. – Chrome OS”. This is a feature that aims to incapacitate “Rubber Ducky”, a malicious USB drive that mimics a keyboard. It is disguised as a generic USB drive, with computers accepting keystroke payloads at more than 1,000 words a minute. The devices that were plugged in before the device was locked will continue to work, so any peripherals or data transfer dongles will continue operating as usual. Users will also have the option to whitelist any devices, in case they’d ever want to plug anything into their machine before unlocking it. The patch notes explain: “Add USB Bouncer feature flag for Chrome OS. This adds the USB Bouncer feature flag that controls whether or not a user specific USB device whitelist will be used for generating the policy for USB Guard.” source
  8. Still likely to end the year ahead THE GAP BETWEEN Windows 7 and Windows 10 use on traditional desktops and laptops continues to narrow, despite the fact that both operating systems lost a small amount of ground this month in the figures produced by Netmarketshare. Windows 7 drops to 38.89 per cent (-0.46) with Windows 10 continuing to snap at its heels at 38.14 (-0.14), meaning that the difference is now just 0.75 per cent, which suggests that Microsoft is still on target to finally overtake itself before the year is out. Just. Possibly. Windows 8.x is now 5.52 per cent (-0.29), with the vast majority on version 8.1. Windows XP has a slight bounce to 4.23 (+0.63). We've stopped mentioning Vista now, such is its rarity. Although the figures from Netmarketshare have a margin of error (or put another way, we take them with a slight pinch of salt) the fact that Windows 10 hasn't grown as a result of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which both fell in this period is a bit of a curveball - in fact most of the movement has been on the Apple front in the wake of its new Macbook Air made of old tin cans and string. As you'd expect, the latest version, macOS 10.14 has seen the biggest gains of the month standing at 3.57 (+1.52), though the rate of upgrade has been slow by Mac user standards, macOS 10.13 has dropped to 3.2 (-1.43) but it hasn't been the usual swift handover. Even macOS 10.12 still has 1.36 (-0.22) and macOS 10.11 has 1.14 (0.23) which is actually a slight rise. The Linux-based systems continue to hover around the same point - Ubuntu on 0.57 (-0.05), Chrome OS on 0.32 (-0.01) and the rest on 1.47 (0.09). Worth noting there are more people using Mac OS X 10.10 and "Unknown" than Chrome OS right now - though it still has the lead in the browser market. When we remove the filter and look at market share amongst all device types - that is to say any device that has connected to the internet during November, the story changes. Window 7 (which, lest we forget is almost exclusively desktop/laptop machine anyway) is the most popular operating system in the world with 16.08 per cent. Windows 10 comes second with 15.77 and Android 8.0 has 8.62. Generically though, Android is in the lead - 39.34 per cent. Windows stands at 35.98. iOS has 18.51 per cent and Mac OS, 4.02. Linux has 0.88 and despite its popularity is schools, Chrome OS has 0.13. For completeness, below them is Series 40 (Symbian) at 0.04, Windows Phone OS at 0.03 and RIM OS (Blackberry) at just 0.01 per cent market share. Source
  9. Like almost every company that’s ever tried to build a tablet What is a tablet? What is a tablet supposed to be and do? Nine years ago, these questions were foremost in debates about new technology, as Apple was preparing to introduce its first iPad and rival companies were rushing to beat it to the punch. CES 2010 gave us one answer in the form of the 8.9-inch HP Slate, a Windows 7 PC running on an Intel Atom processor. A few weeks later, Apple’s iPad made its debut with a 9.7-inch screen and mobile chips and software. And then a year after that, Google released a version of Android called Honeycomb that was tailored specifically for tablets. No one understood tablets back then; everyone was guessing. Apple originally envisioned the iPad as the glossy magazine equivalent of Amazon’s Kindle. The iPad would be more interactive, it would have apps, but a major part of its appeal was supposed to come from “digital magazines” and comic books created for the platform. Publishers quickly found that idea too costly to sustain, and Apple discovered people were using the iPad for many other purposes as well. The company’s initial reluctance to offer a stylus or a keyboard has since turned into multiple generations of keyboard covers and Apple Pencils. Apple’s iPad development has been characterized by learning, adapting, and evolving. What has Google done in that time? Well, the Mountain View company has taken over the smartphone world with Android, so there’s that. But translating that operating system (OS) to tablets has been a tragic, chronic failure for Google. The Motorola Xoom and Xyboard, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, the 13-inch Toshiba Excite, and a litany of others from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and Google have shown promise only to ultimately disappoint. Android on tablets has only ever been somewhat appealing on a couple of 7-inch devices — the Google Nexus 7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab — and on task-specific tablets like Amazon’s Fire HD and Nvidia’s Shield Tablet, both of which are more about the content than the OS. The reason for Android’s failure as a tablet OS should be obvious. Android is made for smartphones. Its system requirements are aligned with a smartphone’s capabilities, its app library is made to fit a smartphone’s screen, and all of its core usability features are built for a smartphone’s vertical orientation. Granted, phone displays have kept growing over the past decade, but they’re likely to find their ceiling right around the point where they reach the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tab’s dimensions. Android is not infinitely expandable. Putting Android on a 10-inch (or larger) tablet makes as much sense as trying to find clothes for Yao Ming in a regular store. Sure, you might dig up some scarves, ties, and belts that are a fit, but most things will be a total mismatch. Google got that message after its series of embarrassing flops. But instead of going to a tailor, the company just started looking in the clown costume aisle with its Chrome OS, as exhibited by the distinctly doofy Pixel Slate. Android is an operating system designed for phones, Chrome OS is an operating system designed for laptops, and the mix of Android apps and Chrome software that Google serves on the Pixel Slate is a buggy mess. It’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at a tablet’s display size and say, “It’s like a laptop, so put laptop software on it,” or to consider its touchscreen and declare, “It’s just an enlarged phone.” Easy and wrong. Tablets, despite being proximate to both phones and laptops, are unique. To have a good tablet experience, you need an OS that is made specifically for that task. It must offer an intuitive touchscreen interface, like a phone, but it should also make full use of its greater screen real estate and higher spec ceiling. Apple’s iPad is, of course, the role model for how this is done. Apple has developed custom X editions of its iPhone chips for use in the iPad, taking advantage of the larger battery and better cooling of the tablet. The company has also dedicated major iOS releases to improving iPad functionality, even while the iPhone remains its most important product. That, together with a historic willingness among app developers to create iPad-specific apps, generates a distinct iPad-only user experience. So long as Google keeps trying to cram its software for other platforms onto a tablet, it will continue to suffer the ignominy of failure. Android Wear on smartwatches, now renamed Wear OS, has been another instructive example of what should be a very simple concept: if you want to build the best possible version of any gadget, the software for it has to be designed for it. Someone at Google really ought to consult Microsoft’s long, abortive history of trying to slim Windows down just enough to make it fit onto mobile devices. (The Surface Pro 2-in-1s of today are good, but they’re still more laptop than tablet.) There’s also Intel’s spectacularly profligate run of pseudo-mobile chips that were just trimmed-down laptop and desktop processors. The future of technology will be defined by more software specialization, not less. Even today, the best fitness trackers have featherlight software built specifically for the efficient processing of biometric data. The best cameras — something Google knows a lot about — are defined by highly customized, multilayered exploitation of the basic hardware. Good software, in spite of its name, is incredibly hard to do. That’s what makes it tempting for pragmatic companies to try and take shortcuts, as every PC manufacturer shipping a copy of Windows or every phone maker relying on Android tends to do. But Google isn’t just another company, and its competition, Apple’s iPad, isn’t just another formulaic slab of transistors and pixels. To take on the iPad, Google needs to give up its Dr. Frankenstein act and just take the time to craft a tablet from fresh parts. The truth is that just about anyone in tech can build a good tablet, but very few have yet been able to build a good tablet experience. Source
  10. Google Fuchsia UI Google’s I/O 2017 event offered the tech giant the perfect opportunity to announce projects that the company has been working on and the direction it intends to take in terms of AI and VR technology, among others. Earlier this month, images revealing a project that Google has been working on surfaced online. Details about Google Fuchsia first surfaced last year, but the recent report showed the OS’s System UI and revealed some features that it could incorporate. Android Police reported that during the Android Fireside Chat, Google’s VP of engineering for Android, Dave Burke was asked about one of the most exciting projects at Google, Fuchsia OS. The engineer said that the experimental project is at an early-stage and it’s one of the many projects that Google is working on. Fuchsia won’t replace Android or Chrome OS What sets Fuchsia apart is its open source nature, which allows developers to see the code and bring contributions to it. David Burke stated “How do you spell Fuchsia? Fuchsia is a early-stage experimental project. We, you know, we actually have lots of cool early projects at Google. I think what’s interesting here is it’s open source, so people can see it and comment on it. Like lots of early stage projects it’s gonna probably pivot and morph. There’s some really smart people on it, people we’ve worked with who are great. And so it’s kind of exciting to see what happens. But it’s definitely a different sort of independent project to android. And yeah, that’s basically it.” It’s worth noting that Google’s Fuchsia project isn’t being developed alongside Android, which means that Google doesn’t have any intention to replace Android OS or Chrome OS with this new project. Still, that doesn’t mean that the situation won’t change in the future, as Fuchsia OS gradually takes shape and becomes a stable operating system. Since it’s at the early stages of development, there’s still the possibility that it could be scraped to make way for other projects by Google. At this point, time will tell if Fuchsia OS will eventually progress to become a full-fledged OS. Source
  11. Google's UI for Fuchsia Last year in August, Google was rumored to be working on a new operating system that could one day replace Android. Now, ArsTechnica has come across images that reveal the UI for the new OS and it appears that it won’t be based on Linux. Both Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux, but it seems that Fuchsia will be built on a new Google kernel, one that carries the name Magenta. The recent images reveal Google’s progress on the new OS, showing that a user-interface was added, together with a card-based design. The user interface carries the name Armadillo and will serve as “the default system UI for Fuchsia”, as it was built on Google’s Flutter SDK, which is used for developing cross-platform code that runs multiple OS like Android, iOS and even Fuchsia. This means that Armadillo can be compiled and ran on an Android device. Fuchsia OS is created for smartphones and tablets The images and the video by Kyle Bradshaw at Hotfix show that Fuchsia is designed for both smartphones and tablets, incorporating a card-based system for managing various apps. Users will be able to drag cards in split-screen or tabbed interface mode, while some suggestions similar to Google Now can also be provided. Armadillo UI for Fuchsia OS The images also seem to suggest that Fuchsia will allow users to run up to four apps at one, making it much easier to multitask on smartphones. In addition, Fuchsia resembles Android in some respects, tapping on an image would bring up a menu that’s very similar to Android’s Quick Settings. The report also mentions that there’s no real evidence that Fuchsia will actually replace Chrome OS or Android entirely. The move to another operating system surely implies a great deal of time and effort, while Fuchsia seems to be at the early stages of development now. Google is expected to host its annual Google I/O event this month and perhaps the company will shed some light into this project then. But the tech giant could also choose to stay silent and only reveal Fuchsia when more progress has been made, ArsTechnica seems to suggest that Fuchsia could see the light of day in 2020. Source
  12. Windows 8.1 Update is already out of the way and its now time to focus on what comes next. Last year, we first reported about Windows 9 and the idea of Windows 10 being a "full cloud based operating system." These details came from the notorious leaker, Wzor. Now, it appears new information has come to light about Microsoft's future plans for Windows. According to new details from Wzor, Microsoft will roll out another update to Windows 8.1 (Update 2) sometime in September of this year, during the Autumn season. Microsoft may refer to this update as Windows 8.1 Update 2 or may even call it Windows 8.2, as there appears to be some sort of heated internal discussion on what to call it. Microsoft is expected to roll out the Start Menu, showcased during Build 2014, in this update. Microsoft will also release some sort of next generation Metro interface with Windows 9, but we aren't too sure exactly what that entails. The Start button will also be present in Windows 9, on devices without a touchscreen and on server systems. The Start button will be a tad bit different on touch devices, but no details were given. Wzor claims that Microsoft may offer Windows 9 for free (which might not seem like a wise idea), but that is still being discussed. Microsoft is apparently working on a prototype operating system called Windows Cloud. This is rumored to be an operating system that requires an internet connection for full functionality. While in offline mode, the operating system would be similar to Microsoft’s budget operating system, Windows Starter, offering basic functionality. This obviously smells like something you would see in Chrome OS on a Chromebook. Could Microsoft be experimenting with something similar? Again, we must stress that this is a huge rumor. Microsoft hasn't offered any details on the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2, nor has there been any information on Windows 9 or Windows 10. Leaked information is scarce and things are a lot tighter ever since the leaker of Windows 8 was arrested. Either way, we've written up this story to discuss the possibilities. Should Windows 9 be offered for free? Would a cloud-based operating system be useful? Source
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