Chrome OS refers to a Google-designed, open-source operating system based on Gentoo Linux. The aforementioned technology is derived from the Chromium OS–free software. It also utilizes the Google Chrome browser as its primary or main user interface (Hachman, 2019). Chrome OS stores user data/information and applications in the cloud, and it mainly runs/supports web applications (Hachman, 2019). The OS mentioned above has an integrated file manager and media player, and it supports Chrome applications. As an open-source upstream, this operating system can be collated from downloaded source codes. The paper provides a detailed description of the essential Apps supported by Chrome OS and their benefits in an organization/learning institution.
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Important Applications Supported by Chrome OS
Gmail Offline refers to an unplugged Gmail version that utilizes a cached version of one’s Gmail information to let him or her respond to emails and communicate without an internet connection. As an administrator, one can enable their users to operate using this app through the following steps:
- Activate offline access to Gmail for users.
- Instruct users to turn on Gmail offline.
- Open/access Gmail offline.
- set your offline preferences.
This application facilitates a workforce’s capacity to label, delete, search, write, and read email messages whenever Internet access is unavailable (Yockel, 2017). Gmail later sends and updates notifications automatically in their outbox and downloads new messages to their inbox once connected to the Internet.
Numerics Converter and Calculator
ShiftEdit relates to an online IDE (integrated development environment) used in Chromebooks; it acts as a desktop IDE supplement. The application mentioned above is similar to other web Apps, for example, Google Docs and Gmail. ShiftEdit is designed for web languages such as Ruby, PHP, and HTML5. It also has an autocomplete feature, which, according to Ahlfeld (2017), is compatible with PHP, CSS, and HTML, and it supports various server types. The application also offers multiple offline capabilities, and it’s free at the Chrome Web Store.
Caret and Skype
Caret is an outstanding text editor for software engineers and computer programmers, which can be accessed on Chrome OS. The application mentioned above is based on Sublime Text Editor, and according to Ahlfeld (2017), it utilizes indistinguishable graphic colors for different functions, arguments, and syntax. On the other hand, Skype provides users with a fully developed web platform where they can receive calls and access contacts and messages.
Office Suite and Microsoft Office
The android version of Chrome OS offers offline support for the software mentioned above. The Microsoft Office apps supported by this operating system function in full-screen mode, and they do not lack any of the essential desktop features. However, to activate the Office applications on Chrome OS, one requires an Office subscription. Office Suite, an app powered by MobiSystems, and supported by Chrome OS, offers a cheaper alternative for Office apps that need a subscription fee. Office Suite supports all Office files, including PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word (Yockel, 2017). Furthermore, it allows one to create and edit Office documents for free while being entirely offline.
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Advantages of Using Chrome OS
Chrome OS is simple and easy to use and maintain; it is an operating system that needs minimum hardware specifications. It has minimal setup requirements, and its maintenance process is hassle-free compared to heavier operating systems, for instance, Windows (Hachman, 2019). The OS is automatically and regularly updated by Google, it has an in-built anti-virus safeguard, and its applications are saved in a cloud. Unlike macOS and Windows, Chrome OS is an undemanding operating system, whose use is smooth and fast; it is efficient and effective with regards to the utilization of hardware resources (Hachman, 2019). Various hardware components, for instance, SSD (solid-state drives), have also been used to optimize the functioning of Chrome OS. Furthermore, it does not require high-powered processers; this feature aids in promoting the OS’s energy efficiency.
The operating system mentioned above is fully integrated with Android and Google; this indicates that most applications operating on Android devices and Android OS can run smoothly in a Chrome OS. Furthermore, this OS coordinates effectively with G Suite, and this can consequently enhance the efficacious collaboration among employees or students in settings that use several Chromebooks (Ahlfeld, 2017). Workers can combine calendars to ascertain factors such as meeting times. Multiple individuals can also work in a single document using Google Sheets, Slides, or Docs to enhance the efficiency and quick completion of tasks. Moreover, file access and sharing can be done with ease (anywhere, anytime) because this OS allows the storage of documents in Drive.
In summary, this writing aimed to provide a detailed description of the crucial Apps supported by Chrome OS and the benefits of using the OS in an organization. Some of these applications include Gmail Offline, Shift Edit, Office Suite and Microsoft Office, Numerics Converter and Calculator, Caret, and Skype. Advantages associated with this operating system include the fact that it is simple and easy to use, it offers smooth and fast operations, it has been integrated with both Android and Google, and it coordinates efficiently with G Suite.
Ahlfeld, K. (2017). Device-Driven research: The impact of Chromebooks in American schools. Journal of International Information & Library Review, 49(4), 285 – 289.
Hachman, M. (2019). Chrome OS 78 gives Chromebooks virtual desktops, click-to-call, and longer support spans. PCWorld, 37(12), 15–16.
Yockel, J. (2017). The effect of Chromebooks on disciplinary literacy in the high school social studies classroom [Unpublished Master’s Thesis]. The College at Brockport: State University of New York.