This has been quite the day for Google and it’s Chrome branded line of products. At the Chrome event that took place earlier today, the present and future of Chrome was discussed in depth and included topics ranging from the newly released Web Store to the first ever Chrome based netbook. Engadget was there to live blog the event, and we’re here to break it down for you.
Google’s web-centric operating system, designed to run on devices featuring a full keyboard, was been demoed and detailed in order to promote buzz around the platform. The most interesting points in the demo pertained mostly to updates and speed.
Using a new Chrome machine is as quick and simple as signing into your Google account on your Android phone, or browser. All of your information, be it settings or themes, is stored in the “cloud” and pulled instantaneously as soon as you sign in to your device. The sign in process consists of just 4 steps, and is all you need to make your device, yours.
As far as how updates will work, Chrome netbooks or laptops will be updated every few weeks to keep things moving as quickly as possible.
Other highlights of the OS include cloud printing and an offline mode for viewing documents and etc. There are still a few undiscussed details like how installation of third party apps will work on the read-only harddrive, or when USB support will be made available, but with the announcement and impending release of the first Chrome netbook, we should know more shortly.
The Cr-48 is Google’s very first Chrome OS based device. The Cr-48 is an all black netbook, that features absolutely no branding, and specs that put it on par with any other 12″ computer available on the market now:
Full size keyboard.
Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip for Verizon data in the US, your carrier of choice internationally.
802.11n dual-band WiFi.
8+ hours of active use.
8+ days of standby.
The most interesting thing about the Cr-48 is the Verizon wireless 3G chip installed. Verizon has partnered with Google and announced that they will be providing 100MB of free data, every month for two years, included with the purchase of any Chrome based device. With no contracts attached, users will also be able to obtain additional access to the web with plans starting as low as $9.99. Unfortunately, there’s no way to actually purchase a Cr-48 right now, but Google has some programs in place to sign up for some free ones – How very Google of them.
Chrome Web Store
Something available to all Chrome users today, be it OS or browser, is the Chrome Webstore. The Web Store is essentially the Android Market for Chrome. Not only does the Web Store feature web apps, but also includes extensions and themes in order to keep things more tightly organized. Web apps, however, are where your attention should be turned to today.
Web apps are very similar to extensions in that they run right in with your browser, but they’re very different in that they’re so much more immersive. As of right now, there’s just about everything you could imagine in web app format available for download: Social networking clients, games, readers, clocks, messengers… There’s paid web apps, free web apps… you name it. Considering that this is the first day the Web Store is open for business, the selection is incredible and will only flourish with time. To check it out for yourself, which I highly recommend you do, simply visit the Chrome Web Store from your browser now.
Improvements to the Chrome browser
So there you have it folks. Anything you’re particularly excited about? Let us know in the comments below.