Chrome is both a mobile and desktop-based browser. It is used to browse websites. Chrome was released in 2008. Chrome has different features including Chrome extensions, searching through Google by using the browser address bar also known as Omnibox. Chrome was built using the WebKit layout engine. According to a survey in 2019, Chrome is used by 70% of desktop users. And by a survey in 2020, Google Chrome owns 60% of the market share as a web browser.
Chrome can also load complex websites including animation, advertisements and scripts easily. If you attach a google account with Chrome then your all bookmarks, auto-fills, extensions, history and password are sync in the cloud.
Chrome OS (Operating System) was released on June 15, 2011. Chrome OS is a Gentoo Linux based OS developed by Google. The work on Chrome OS was started before as a project in July 2009.
Chrome OS is not for all computers but it comes packed with Chromebook. When you buy Chromebook then Chrome OS is pre-installed on that machine. The first Chromebook (laptop with Chrome OS installed) was made available in the market in May 2011.
Samsung and Acer first started making Chromebooks in July 2011. Chromebook has pre-installed apps including media player and file manager. It has also the feature of sharing a desktop with other Chromebooks. As android is also owned by Google so it becomes available to Chrome OS in 2014-2016. Now new Chromebooks has the feature of running android apps from within the OS.
Let me define what Chromebook is:-
A Chromebook is a tablet or laptop that runs Chrome OS. Most of the apps on Chromebook runs from the cloud e.g. Google drive, photos, spreadsheets, slides, documents are all loaded from the cloud-based internet.
The size of the Chromebook range from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. Many companies make Chromebooks including Google, Samsung, Acer, HP, Dell, and Lenovo. On Chromebooks, Windows and Mac apps don’t run. Chrome OS runs on the Linux platform at the backend.
Some of the pros and cons of the Chrome operating system (OS) are explained below:-
Advantages of the Chrome operating system (OS)
Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel. As you know Linux is a very solid OS. You can install native apps of Linux on Chromebook also.
When you buy Chromebook then 100 GB of cloud storage is given free to you. You can use this cloud storage in Google drive, photos, documents, spreadsheets, slides and other Google apps also. This is enough storage for any kind of work you do online.
Free and fast:
Chrome OS is free and open source. The code of Chrome OS is available on GitHub. Anybody can see and change the code if he likes too. If you compare this with other OS then windows and mac OS are very costly and are paid software. It only takes you 8 seconds to boot Chrome OS. All apps and websites load very fast in Chrome OS.
According to Google, Chrome OS startup time is within 7 seconds. Chromebook comes with an SSD drive. Chrome OS uses the hardware of the device very efficiently. You can easily carry your Chromebook and move it to different locations.
Chrome OS is a very secured operating system. You will not be attacked with any virus/malware because Chrome will first warn you to not open any app/website that contains a virus. If you open a virus-containing website then there are little chances to get infected with the virus because of safe-browsing, encryption and verified boot.
Chrome OS has a simple user interface that can help any type of person to use it. Different people can log in to the system easily. Google updates the OS automatically and you don’t have to worry about any updates of the system.
If your kids also want to use Chromebook then you can create a supervised account that can monitor your kid activities.
Supports Android apps:
Now Chrome OS also support android apps. Mean you can run android apps from the Chrome OS. So you can now use both Chrome apps/extensions and android apps.
You can do your office work like spreadsheets, slides, drive, documents easily. Google provide all these tools in the Chrome browser.
Chromebooks have a low price as compared to another type of laptops. You can get a normal Chromebook in the price range of $300-$400. You can use Chromebook for your normal online work e.g. checking emails, using social networking sites, streaming videos, using online apps etc. Your kids can also use Chromebooks easily. If you are a student then you can do your research work easily using Chromebook.
Good battery life:
If you have a Chromebook then you can use it for 13 hours also. While most MacBook’s have a battery life of 4 hours. You can do your office work or research work easily by using Chromebook.
Supports many touchpad gestures:
You can use different finger gestures on Chromebook to perform various actions. Some of the touchpad gestures are:-
- For viewing all windows, swipe up or down with three fingers
- Swipe left with two fingers to go to the previous page. Swipe right with two fingers to go to the forward page.
- To make right-click, tap two fingers on the touchpad.
- To switch between tabs, swipe left or right with three fingers.
- Simple design
- Most used web links are shown on startup pages in Chrome
- If any chrome tab crashes then other tabs are not affected
- Chrome automatically translates the page into your language
- Chrome installs within seconds
- You can change the color and theme of the Chrome browser
- Chrome loads faster than other browsers like Firefox and Safari
- Chrome is the first browser to start searching the web from the address bar
- Ctrl + enter will add .com extension in the address bar
Disadvantages of the Chrome operating system (OS)
Advanced photo and video editing:
You cannot do heavy editing of photos and videos. You cannot install Photoshop and other adobe software on Chrome OS. There are some online apps available that you can use for simple editing of photos but for professionals, Chrome OS is not the right thing. The hardware is also right in Chromebook for this editing.
You cannot play Windows and Mac supported games. You can play online games but installing Windows and Mac games is not possible. You can play Android games on Chromebook.
Needs fast internet:
As 90% of Chromebook is for internet-connected apps so you will need a fast internet connection to use Chrome OS. All the apps in Chromebook are cloud-based. Most Chromebooks have 30 GB of local space that is not enough for storing a lot of data. If you want to see a movie then you have the only option to stream online through YouTube, Netflix websites.
Gotowebinar is a popular software for doing online meeting but it is not available for Chrome OS. It runs on only Windows and Mac OS.
If you have already a laptop or PC then you don’t need to buy a Chromebook because it has a major feature of Chrome browser which your laptop or PC already have.
Most software companies prefer to make software for PC and MAC because they have large users. Also, Chrome OS is not meant for running large software but it is more concerned with internet-based apps.
Uses high RAM:
Chrome browser uses high RAM because it contains extensions too that consumes a lot of RAM.
For making printing you need to use Google cloud print. For doing Google cloud print you need to always have internet access.
If you are a student and want to research in your studies and also want to buy economic laptop then go for Chromebook. If you want to do professional photo/video editing then Chromebook is not right for you.