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Daily Authority: 💻 Chrome OS gives us a Flex

Chrome OS Flex exits beta testing, the first Galaxy Z5 series rumors, and more appear in today's edition!

Published onJuly 15, 2022

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 logo

🌤 Good morning on this somewhat chilly Friday. Well, it’s still winter in our part of the world, so that’s to be expected. At least we’re getting a new couch delivered tomorrow, so yay!

Weird (Chrome OS) Flex but okay

The Chrome logo on the back of a Chromebook.

Google just announced that its Chrome OS Flex initiative has exited beta testing and is now available to all. The solution was initially announced in February 2022, so that’s a pretty short time to exit beta status by Google’s own standards. But what should you know about it?

Reviving old hardware

  • At its core, Chrome OS Flex allows consumers to install Chrome OS on their old PCs or Macs.
  • We’ve previously seen the CloudReady solution do something similar, but that was the open-source Chromium OS rather than the official Chrome OS.
  • In any event, Google noted this week that over 400 devices are certified to work with Chrome OS Flex. That’s a staggering number, meaning there’s a decent chance your computer is supported.
  • Fortunately, it’s also possible to install Chrome OS Flex on devices not listed by Google.
  • You’ll need a machine with a 64-bit AMD/Intel CPU, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a USB flash drive. But Google explicitly says computers with Intel GMA graphics aren’t supported.

Google’s target audience

  • Giving your ancient laptop a new lease of life is one obvious use case, for starters.
  • I remember installing Linux distributions on my creaking laptop back in the day, so having another lightweight alternative is nice.
  • However, Google is pushing this as a solution for fleet rollouts in the education and small business sectors.
  • The thinking is sound in theory, as it means you’re using existing hardware rather than going out and buying new PCs and Macs. Or even new Chromebooks, for that matter.
  • There are still a few reasons to get a new Chromebook though. For one, Chrome OS Flex doesn’t support Android apps. It also lacks Parallels desktop functionality, while Linux support depends on the model.
  • Nevertheless, this is still a welcome development in the business and education spaces, particularly in cash-strapped environments.
  • You can check out our guide to installing Chrome OS Flex if you’re intrigued by the idea.

🍎 US App Store revenue from non-game apps just topped games for the first time, suggesting that the subscription economy is a success for Apple (TechCrunch).

🎨 Hidden artwork revealed by x-ray appears to be Van Gogh self-portrait, experts say: That would make it the 36th known self-portrait by the artist (NY Times).

🛹 Skate 4 is officially called skate and it will be free-to-play: The long-awaited Skate sequel will also have cross-platform play and progression (IGN).

😎 Today is the 10th anniversary of Psy’s Gangnam Style music video being posted on YouTube, the first video to reach a billion views (YouTube Blog)

📺 The live-action Resident Evil series is out on Netflix and AA colleague Fred Blichert says it doesn’t bring much to the table in a sea of Resident Evil adaptations (Android Authority)

🎥 Amazon finally admits giving cops Ring doorbell data without user consent: The company handed over user data without consent 11 times in 2022 so far (Ars Technica).

💿 Microsoft’s new Media Player for Windows has gained CD ripping support, catching up to the old player. I vaguely remember the old app only supporting the WMA format for a while, which was annoying as a teen when I had a 64MB MP3 player to fill (Windows Blog).

Friday fun

It turned out that July 13 was National French Fry Day, so Heinz came up with a rather neat idea to mark the occasion. The sauce and condiment company came up with French Fry Spoons (h/t: Gizmodo), so you can get a generous helping of tomato sauce and other condiments when dipping.

I’d totally buy a ton of these, because fried potato goodness. But Heinz is only giving them away in the UK as part of a promotion. Fortunately, you still have time to enter as the contest ends on July 20.

Have a great weekend!

Hadlee Simons, Editor