Chromebooks are basically just laptops that ship with Google’s Chrome OS rather than another operating system. But since Chrome OS was designed to put the web browser front and center, some folks have insisted that it’s not a real operating system – after all, it loses much of its functionality if you lose your internet connection.
Of course, that’s kind of true of any operating system these days, since so much of what we do with computers, phones, and other devices depends on an internet connection. But as for Chrome OS? These days it actually can do quite a bit even when you’re offline, thanks to support for Android and Linux apps, as well as Progressive Web Apps. But one thing you may not be able to do anymore? Use Microsoft Office. That’s because the company is ending support for using its Office Android apps on Chromebooks, instead encouraging folks to use the web apps… which have very limited offline capabilities at the moment.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- Microsoft ending Chromebook support for Office Android apps in September [About Chromebooks]
Microsoft is ending support for using Office Android apps on Chromebooks, will instead require you to use the Office web apps for Word, Excel, etc. But offline capabilities are limited at this point, even if you install the progressive web app.
- Kobol Team is pulling the plug [Kobol]
After launching an open hardware NAS called the Kobol Helios64 last year and shipping a limited number of devices to customers, the team announced plans for a new model with a RK3568 chip. Now that’s been scrapped and the company is pulling the plug.
- GNOME 41 Beta Released With “Calls” SIP/VoIP Support, Wayland Improvements [Phoronix]
GNOME 41 beta released, bringing new features to the desktop environment including improvements for phone calls, new Cellular and Multitasking panels in Control Center, support for opening and importing Calendar events from ICS files, and more.
- Maker Creates An Even Smaller Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Carrier Board [Tom’s Hardware]
This tiny carrier board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 is called The Stick, because it looks like one and offers a USB-C connector for power plus a few pins for GPIO, GND, 5V, and 3V and that’s about it.
- US PC Shipments up 17% in Q2 2021 [Canalys]
According to Canalys, PC shipments in the US were up 17% in the second quarter of 2021, compared with the same period a year earlier. That includes desktops, notebooks, and tablets (although that last category was “almost stagnant.”
- Amazon Now Guarantees Kindle eReader Security Updates for 4 Years [The eBook Reader]
Amazon now tells you how long it will guarantee security updates for Kindle eReaders: 4 years from the release date. The current “10th-gen” Kindles released in 2018 and 2019 will be supported through at least 2025 though.
- Android 12 Beta 4.1 [Google]
Google releases Android 12 Beta 4.1 with bug fixes including one that caused phones to fail to connect to the internet after connected to a VPN.
- Introducing the Revolution in the Fitbit Charge Family: Charge 5 [FitBit]
Fitbit Charge 5 activity tracker is coming this fall, and it’s up for pre-order for $180. It features an updated design with color AMOLED touchscreen display that’s bigger and brighter than the previous gen, no physical buttons and 7 days battery life.
- Helix 300 IoT systems [OnLogic]
Onlogic launches Helix 310/330 fanless, small form-factor computers with Intel Elkhart Lake (low-power Celeron/Pentium chips) designed for IoT and Edge applications.
- Playdate Teardown [iFixit]
The Playdate handheld game console with a hand crank is up for pre-order now, and the first units ship later this year. The folks at @ifixit got an early version and dissected it.
The Playdate doesn’t have 5G. It doesn’t have a 120 Hz screen, a custom-built chip, or any kind of camera. What the Playdate does have is a crank, an ultra-portable design, and a lot of charm. Check out our teardown: https://t.co/lZfoLEnJjM pic.twitter.com/IoK05eJtxN
— iFixit (@iFixit) August 23, 2021
You can also find the latest news about open source phones by following our sister site LinuxSmartphones on Facebook and Twitter.
I’m using a 13.3 inch Asus Chromebook right now. Works great! It cost 80% less than a 13.3 inch Windows laptop or Macbook. I can do everything I need online. I don’t need to have Microsoft Office installed to use Google Docs. Runs Android apps and it’s way easier to type using a REAL keyboard instead of a tiny touchscreen.
Comments are closed.