chrome

Chromebooks compared: New and upcoming Chrome OS laptops

With a small but growing slice of the PC market, Chromebooks are finally a viable choice for anyone looking to buy a secondary or travel laptop. Unlike the similarly priced netbooks of old, these systems, running Google's Chrome OS instead of Windows, tend to focus on doing one thing and doing it well -- giving you low-cost access to online tools and services.

But with myriad models available from Acer, HP, Toshiba, and even Google -- many with annoyingly similar names -- which is the Chromebook to beat?

Compare our hands-on reviews and impressions of the major Chromebook entrants … Read more

The Fix: Optimize your smartphone

Welcome to the second episode of The Fix! This is CNET's newest show, and each episode revolves around ways to make the most of the technology in your daily life.

This episode will change how you use your smartphone. They've become an indispensable part of our lives, and when they underperform or run out of power, it's enough to make you scream. To help you out, we've got some simple advice that can make your phone faster and its battery last longer.

First off, to see if your phone's browser is slowing you down, Eric … Read more

Samsung's new Chromebook to get leather makeover?

Samsung appears to have a new Chromebook in the works that sports the company's new trademark faux leather cover.

Images tweeted by @evleaks shows what appears to be a Chrome OS-powered notebook featuring a back wrapped in textured fake black leather and framed by stitching on the edges, much like last year's Galaxy Note 3 and the recently announced Black Edition of the Galaxy S4 smartphones. The images, which evleaks identified as a Chromebook 2, features a notebook with the familiar Samsung and Chrome logos.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 design language marches on... pic.twitter.com/YpbfjeygfHRead more

Clean up the look of Gmail with Gmelius

Gmail is just about the perfect e-mail client. Quite frankly, I can't imagine my life without it. (Well, I can but don't want to because it involves my old Hotmail account.) As time goes by, however, Google tweaks the look and feel of Gmail, adding new features while removing or changing others. If you'd like to have some say about how your Gmail experience goes, Gmelius is a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera which lets you customize what elements show up on Gmail and where.

Gmelius has been around for a couple of years, but … Read more

How to get Google Now everywhere

Google has made it easier to get Google Now on your desktop. If you're unfamiliar with Google Now, it's Google's personal assistant that loads information such as weather, sports scores, traffic, and more in one location.

Before you can get Google Now on the desktop, you'll have to activate Google Now on your mobile device (either your phone or tablet). Google Now is available within the Google Search app on both iOS and Android. In either app, Google Now is in the Settings section. For iOS, click the gear, and turn on Google Now. On Android, … Read more

Reduce data usage, increase speed with Chrome extension

Google added a feature to Chrome for iOS and Android last month that let you route your mobile Web traffic through Google's servers to compress pages you visit before downloading them, helping to reduce your data usage. Now, an enterprising developer has released a Chrome extension that performs the same trick on the desktop. You may not have the same need to reduce your data usage on your desktop as you do on your phone in terms of staying below your carrier's monthly data allotment, but using the Data Compression Proxy extension can help speed up your Web … Read more

Google Chrome's shutdown glitch defies an easy fix

When diagnosing PC problems, sometimes it pays to take the easy route.

About every other time I open Google Chrome lately, an error message alerts me that the browser failed to close correctly. I'm then prompted to click the Restore button to reopen the tabs that were active when Chrome last closed.

Who's got the time to figure out what's causing the browser to hiccup when it closes? Just go the restore route or start the browsing session afresh. No big deal, right?

Having nothing better to do over a holiday weekend, I decided to look into … Read more

Get e-mail contact info with Vibe

Currently, I use Rapportive because I like the dashboard it adds to my Gmail inbox which provides context for my e-mail contacts. Chrome extension Vibe provides a similar service, but isn't constrained to Gmail. It lets you hover over an e-mail address you encounter online, and receive a drop-down panel of information about the person behind the e-mail.

When you install Vibe, it adds a button to the right of Chrome's URL bar. Before you begin using the service, you'll need to use that button to get directed to Vibe's Web site to create an account … Read more

Google: Under-the-hood change helps Web apps on Chrome

Google has taught Chrome how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The newest Chrome beta version, 33, includes a feature called concurrent compilation that means the browser takes a smoother, faster trip to an optimized version of the Web page code it's running.

"Concurrent code compilation is another step towards reducing latency in Chrome," said Chrome programmer Yang Guo in a blog post Thursday.

JavaScript performance is crucial to browsers, which increasingly run Web-based apps written in JavaScript, not just load relatively static Web pages.

Concurrent compilation takes advantage of the fact that most … Read more

Now running on a Chromebook near you: Windows

Armed with rising Chromebook sales, Google and VMWare have partnered up to allow legacy Windows software to run on Chrome OS, the companies announced on Wednesday.

The deal will allow Windows-only enterprise software, such as accounting applications, to work on Google's low-cost Chrome OS laptops and desktop boxes. With most of its line priced at or under $300, Chromebook laptops have jumped in sales, capturing 21 percent of US notebook sales and 8 percent of the total PC and tablet market in 2013. That's up from negligible market share the year before, reports NPD.

Up until now, Chrome … Read more