Latest posts by Ahmad Imran (see all)
- 60 Days With S8+ [Strengths, Weaknesses and Forgettables] - January 24, 2018
- Galaxy S8+ Still Image Quality [With 12 Sample Shots] - January 4, 2018
- How to Improve Your Chromebook Experience? [in 2018] - December 19, 2017
This article was first published here in 2014 when I was only a few months into the world of Chromebooks.
I am writing it again and republishing it in December 2017 with an experience of more than three years of using Chromebooks – and more importantly, loving them.
In 2018, the Chromebooks will continue to gain more footprint in the personal computing industry.
Relatively newer to their counterparts (Windows and Macs), I believe that the ChromeOS is still evolving and maturing with time. It has taken some significant steps towards becoming a simplistic but robust operating system for a common user like you and me.
However, there is more to come.
Despite all the strengths that Chromebooks are famous for, there is always a room to improve your chromebook experience further.
Not necessarily by buying a new chromebook, but by making the best out of your existing one.
In this article, I will explore five different avenues which you can consider to enhance your chromebook experience further. I am sure you are aware of most of these tips but let me scratch the surface a bit more.
To dig a level deeper.
If there is anything that you do differently on your Chromebook and I have missed it by not including, feel free to chip in and help our readers out here in comments below.
As a chromebook user, I am sure you are aware of the cloud computing. Most of the tasks on a chromebook are carried out in a remote environment. We call it the cloud.
Cloud is not going to change the way you use your computer overnight. It is gradually increasing in our daily computing habits.
Ever noticed that Gmail, YouTube and Spotify are all cloud-based services?
It has slowly grown over a period of time and we are at a stage now where I am personally not hesitant to say that for a vast majority of the common users, cloud is the future.
It is a style of computing which relies on online servers and computers to handle the remotely stored hardware, remotely installed/managed software and their interaction with you. All you have is a simple operating system in a not-top-notch-spec-machine and you enjoy this remote processing through your browser’s window – Chrome in this case.
There is no need to invest in high-spec hardware and downloadable software to install on your local computer generally.
All with simplicity, performance and efficiency in mind.
I have been working in the cloud-mode for over 3 years now. If you ask me how do you feel after this experience, my response would be that I don’t want to even look back.
My 20 years of friendship with Windows now seems like a distant past.
“For you to fully enjoy your Chromebook, you need to explore, like and most importantly, trust the cloud.”
Take my example, from storage to note taking, keeping a journal to task management, watching videos to listening music and running my website to managing social media, all my tasks are handled from my chromebook without the need to install a single separate software on my laptop.
This is an extremely low-maintenance working model which is tempting for a common user in today’s busy lifestyle.
If you want to enjoy your Chromebook further, embrace the cloud-style of computing.
No more storage drives and no more installing software and related maintenance. Do it all in cloud. Let the cloud do the heavy lifting.
Let me know in comments below how much trust do you have in cloud.
What are your fears or concerns which stop you to not embrace the cloud as much as you would like to?
I am not saying to spend mega bucks to get a new Pixelbook for yourself.
If you can, it’s great but for now, we will talk about your current chromebook only.
Remmeber you don’t want your machine to be slow, lagging and struggling with the tasks you throw at it. It should be responsive, pleasant to use and quick to complete the command.
Chromebooks don’t get slow with time as much as a typical Windows machine does in common situations. This the beauty of these devices however, you need to keep an eye on the performance of your chromebook for smooth working.
I suggest you have a read of this little guide by Jerry Hildenbrand for Android Central where he has explained 5 simple tasks you can do today to make your Chromebook browsing experience faster and better.
If you are in the process of buying a new Chromebook, read my 7 key factors to consider while choosing your new Chromebook – one of them is related to speed and performance.
Extensions in the chrome-world are small add-ons and programs which get installed on your Chrome browser and provide you with an extra layer of service. Don’t confuse them with the chrome-apps or the play-store-apps, they are different.
You can download these extensions (mostly free) from the Chrome Web Store and within seconds, they are ready to serve you. They sit on the top right of your browser as small icons.
At the time of writing this article, I have 14 extensions running live on my Chromebook. This does not include the 12 other extensions which I have turned off using an extension called “Extensity”.
So having these 26 extensions installed in my Chrome browser helps me to be more productive and efficient with my time online. On a daily basis, I am addicted to their use and some of them are like second nature for performing certain tasks.
They are generally light weight but do keep an eye on your overall browser performance in case. The trick is in choosing the right extensions for your intended use and utilising them for maximum benefit.
Remember you don’t need to be on “Chromebook only” to enjoy these extensions. As long as you are using the Chrome browser, you can install them easily on your Windows or Mac laptop as well.
“So go ahead, pick up a few from the list I have shared with you and start using them.”
You will be pleasantly surprised.
If you are already a user of the Chrome extensions, time to refine your experience further. Look for the ones which are really unique and super-useful. Use them and share your views with us about how they helped you to change the way you browse online from your browser window.
Google took a while to reach to a point where most of the Chromebooks now come with Android apps available straight out-of-the-box.
As of end December 2017, Android Central has produced a list of models that support Play Store Apps in different channels on various chromebooks.
I use the ASUS C302 flip chromebook and I have the luxury of having over 3 million Android apps available to me on my touch screen chromebook.
But the question is where to start.
It is a potential game-changer and there is a big world to explore.
JR Raphael is a contributing editor at Computer World and has an in-depth knowledge of the Chromebooks. He shares his list of must-have Play Store apps for Chromebooks in this article here.
If your chromebook supports Android apps, time to try a few.
I appreciate that the Play Store apps experience might not be optimised and as good as your Android phone, but I am sure that with passing time, this experience is only going to get better.
Have you tried any Android app on you chromebook and if so, how was your experience?
The world of chromebooks is not as crowded as Windows and Macs.
There are a few websites which I would suggest you to visit and explore as they provide a useful resource of information for Chrome fans.
- Robby Payne runs the Chrome Unboxed which not only contains the reviews and feedback on the new Chromebooks but also does a great job of keeping one up to date with the latest news, developments and leaks etc.
- Dinsan Francis runs the Chrome Story which is another useful website to learn more about the proceedings in the Chromebook world.
- Finally, don’t forget the Google’s own official page on chromebooks where not only you can find the latest CB models but also the help and support related to chromebook topics.
The key is to remain in the loop with the proceedings. This will help you to be in touch with the chrome platform and associated developments.
“You can create an overall and wider understanding of the chromebooks and when the right time comes to upgrade your current model, you will be in a better position to make that decision.”
Don’t just be a user, be a passionate user who wants to learn and know more.
Get involved with the chrome-journey.
Chromebook myths should die now.
It is a robust platform which is simple and has tremendous potential.
Personal computing is all about a refined user experience. Chromebooks are excellent but only if you know your circumstances, options and how to maximise the return.
I am a huge fan of these clever machines and consider them as excellent “value for money” devices which can be the game-changers in the future PC market.
Time to make this experience even better.
Are you in, or out?
If there is any other major annoyance which you are facing with your chromebook, let us know in comments below.
Alternatively, if there is anything else that you have tried with your chromebook and feel that other users should consider giving it a try, feel free to share that too.