A company called Neverware has been offering software called CloudReady that lets you turn old computers into pseudo Chromebooks since 2015. But in order to do that, the company has been using software based on Chromium OS, the open source version of Chrome OS.
Now Google has acquired the company and, among other things, that means that CloudReady will eventually become an official Chrome OS release with more of the features you’d get if you bought an off-the-shelf Chromebook.
When that happens, existing users will be able to upgrade automatically, while new users will get the latest software. In the meantime, Neverware says there will be no changes to its pricing or support services — there’s a free version of CloudReady for home users, as well as Education and Enterprise editions available for $20 or $49 per year per user.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- Neverware is now part of Google [CloudReady]
Google Acquires Neverware, the company behind Cloudready, which lets you install ChromiumOS on old PCs to turn them into Chromebooks. Eventually Cloudready will become an official Chrome OS release. (via Engadget)
- Firefox 84 [Mozilla]
Firefox 84 is out, featuring native support for Macs with Apple Silicon (2.5X faster launches and 2X faster page loads), GPU-based rendering for more Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, and some UI changes for Android.
- Office for Macs with Apple Silicon [Microsoft]
Microsoft Office now runs natively on Macs with Apple M1 chips. The updated apps are universal Mac apps, which means they’ll also run on models with Intel chips, but performance on the new MacBook Air and Pro should be faster.
- Qualcomm Announces New Snapdragon 678 [Qualcomm]
Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 678 mid-range chip with Kryo 460 CPU cores, Adreno 612 graphics, and support for devices with up to 3 cameras with 48MP and zero shutter lag.
- SNK teases a new game console for 2021 [@SNKPofficial]
SNK says a “brand-new console” is coming in 2021. The move comes a few years after the launch of the Neo Geo Mini, and.. that’s about all we know so far.
- Netflix is now available on Amazon Echo Shows [AFTV News]
Now you can watch Netflix on an Amazon Echo Show… if you want to watch Netflix on a 5-10 inch stationary screen. I guess it could come in handy in the kitchen or something.
- The year ahead for Surface Duo [Microsoft]
Microsoft Surface Duo dual-screen Android phone is heading to Canada, the UK, France, and Germany in 2021. Microsoft also notes that there’s a new TikTok app optimized for the Duo, and first-party app improvements are underway.
- HMD Nokia phones (US)
HMD launches an online storefront for the United States, with phones ranging in price from $69 to $700. They all come with 3 years of security updates.
- Farewell, Periscope [Twitter/Periscope]
Twitter is killing off its standalone Periscope live streaming mobile app in March, 2021. I’m trying to resist the urge to make a down periscope joke, but I’m sure we’ll see a million of them today.
- PineBook to PineBook Pro upgrade kit is on hold (for now at least) [Pine64]
Pine64’s December update includes the latest news on hardware and software related to the PinePhone Linux smartphone, PineTime smartwatch, and PineBook Linux laptops, among other things. One bit of unfortunate news? Plans to release an upgrade kit that lets you replace the motherboard in a PineBook to turn it into a PineBook pro is on hold. It could still happen, but certainly not by the end of 2020, as originally hoped.
- PinePhone keyboard and wireless charging add-ons are on the way [Linux Smartphones]
Also included in that update? More details about two upcoming PinePhone accessories — a wireless charging cover and a physical keyboard.