Every few years, I try to take some time to write an article about the shortcomings of ChromeOS and offer advice to the developers on the ChromiumOS team to consider when implementing new features on ChromeOS. Admittedly, I fully intended this to be a yearly publication; however, I do tend to fall victim to procrastination. This article is not intended to demonstrate that ChromeOS is somehow a sub-par operating system that people should not use; it's quite the opposite, as I feel that if the ChromiumOS team were to adopt these features, it could compel more users to adopt ChromeOS as their primary operating system.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who frequents this website that I am a huge fan of ChromeOS. This blog post will likely ruffle some feathers in the ChromeOS world, but I really feel that ChromeOS, while a significant innovation in the tech industry, seems to have hit a plateau, particularly in its hardware development. Many computer manufacturers treat ChromeOS as an afterthought, often relegating it to budget devices and reserving their flagship hardware for Windows. This approach has led to a stagnation in the ChromeOS hardware landscape, limiting its potential reach and appeal. A solution to this stagnation could lie in allowing greater freedom for hardware manufacturers to introduce customizations and exclusive features, driving competition and offering consumers more choices.
Black Friday sales are notorious for offering incredible deals on various tech products, including Chromebooks. While these deals may seem tempting, it's crucial to exercise caution when purchasing a ChromeOS device during this time. Many of these devices may have been sitting on the shelves for several years, potentially falling outside the window where Google provides OTA (Over-The-Air)/Auto-Update Expiration (AUE) updates.
As a long-time Google fan, it pains me to say this, but I am starting to lose trust in some of Google's product decisions. I want to be clear - I still love Android, ChromeOS, Chrome, and many other Google offerings. Google takes user privacy and security very seriously. However, over the years, Google has developed a pattern of releasing several innovative products that showed a remarkable amount of potential, ultimately getting me hooked as a loyal user, and then eventually killing them off.
We've all heard the criticism and seen countless photos from schoool administrators showing piles of chromebooks collecting dust - Chromebooks only get a few years of software updates before they are abandoned and sent to a e-waste landfill or sold off for scrap. It looks like Google is finally looking to change that perception with a major announcement that will see Chrome OS devices supported for over a decade.
It should not come as a shock that I am a huge fan of ChromeOS/ChromiumOS and while I am clearly a fan, I am also very critical of the operating system and want to see it evolve. A bit over 3 years ago, I wrote a article on my website outlining some of the major shortcomings with ChromeOS in 2017 and I am happy to say that ChromeOS has come a very long way. A lot of new and impressive features have come to ChromeOS since my post including proper SD card support for Android, upgrading the dated Android 6.0 and various other improvements that were not on my radar such as Linux application support. ChromeOS is a great operating system that has been a daily driver of mine for a long time but there are still several major shortcomings that I would love to see resolved in future releases of ChromeOS.
Samsung announced a new feature with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the ability to access Samsung Dex on a Windows or MacOS device. This in my opinion was a game changer as it could allow users to use the insane power of their Galaxy Note 10/Note 10+ devices on inexpensive hardware. Samsung released a client for MacOS and Windows but as usual left us ChromeOS/Linux users out in the cold. It turns out that there is indeed a way to use Samsung Dex on Linux and X64 Chromebooks like the Pixelbook (Affiliate Link), Pixelbook Go (Affiliate Link) or even Samsung’s own line of Chromebooks, It does need a bit of inexpensive hardware and WiFi to setup .
Heads up to all ChromeOS users in the dev channel. I am currently going through the changelogs to understand what changed and will be updating this post as I find things. If you spot anything, please feel free to drop a comment below.
Some people say that ChromeOS is a limited Operating System but as someone who has been using ChromeOS for a few years now, I have to respectfully disagree. I purchased my Pixelbook to upgrade my previous Chromebook back in February and I have not regretted it yet – the Pixelbook is by far the best laptop I own. It is so good that it has become my primary machine. With that said, I do like to use a multiple display setup when I am at my desk – complete with a full keyboard, mouse, speaker, and 2 additional 23 inch displays. Also, this setup will work with Windows, MacOS, Linux, ChromeOS and even Android! Here is how I did it.
I am a person who normally relies on several computers at a time on a daily basis to get stuff done. I recently decided to try an experiment to see if I can use a Chromebook as my daily driver and I am actually not regretting it. I have been critical of ChromeOS in the past, even to the point that I wrote a scathing blog post a few months ago pointing out that major parts of ChromeOS are simply half-baked and had several short-comings. I still stand by that post however in the months since posting it, ChromeOS has evolved a bit, allow me to explain.