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Darel Booth

iTunes on Chromebook

How to put iTunes on Chromebook? [Updated]

By | Chromebook, How-To

This article will help you gain access to your iTunes library on your Chromebook.

You’ve built a music library on iTunes already. You bought a Chromebook and discovered (… probably with much frustration) that you can’t install iTunes on Chromebook.

Don’t worry. Your iTunes music library is still accessible from your Chrome OS device. Let’s take a look at how you can set this up on your Chromebook…

[Update: June 27, 2019]

This post was updated to improve readability and clarity, as well as add some other thoughts. The post was almost entirely rewritten, although the primary points made remain the same.

Add iTunes Library to Chromebook from a Desktop or Laptop

The primary way to access your iTunes library on Chromebook (and other devices you own) is to upload your music from a Windows Computer or Mac.

On a computer that already has your iTunes music:

  1. Go to Google Play Music website
  2. Click on the hamburger menu icon
  3. Click “Upload Music”
  4. From here, you can either drag songs to the website or click “SELECT FROM YOUR COMPUTER”
  5. The upload process may take some time, especially with slower connections. Also, be aware that a large library could be costly depending upon your data limits

For Windows, the default location for your music library is

c:\Users\[your login]\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music

For Mac, the default location for your music library is

/Users/[your login]/Music/iTunes

On your Chromebook:

  1. Add the Google Play Music app, if it’s not already added
  2. Activate Google Play Music, if it’s not already activated
  3. Enjoy your music…

Install iTunes Library on Chromebook through Wine and Linux VMs

Here’s an iTunes for Chromebook hack that may work. If you really wanted to put iTunes on Chromebook, you could try Wine inside of Linux, but read the disclaimer below before you do.

Disclaimer: I have not attempted this method. There are several layers of compatibility concerns. Adding Linux to your Chromebook can add some security issues. This method would probably be resource heavy, so it’s less likely to work on older models. This method is only for the adventurous.

  1. Install Linux on your Chromebook. I’m working on a guide to install Linux on Chromebook and will update this post with a link when I finish. Until then, a Google search will help.
  2. In your Linux installation, install PlayOnLinux (or Wine)
  3. Open the PlayOnLinux app
  4. Click install and search for iTunes
  5. Select the iTunes version
  6. The PlayOnLinux installation wizard will guide you through the iTunes installation

To me, this method requires too much energy and has too many potential issues. I’d rather use Google Play Music to access my iTunes library on Chromebook.

To each their own…

When will we get the real iTunes for Chromebook?

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t expect this to happen anytime soon. Apple’s business model relies heavily on a closed, proprietary ecosystem. Opening their software to other platforms requires a lot of internal resources to maintain their ecosystem.

Then why is there iTunes on Windows?

There is a much larger market of Windows users that would benefit from having iTunes. Many people working 9-5 could now listen to music in their iTunes library to help with slower times (, and would pay to expand that library).

Apple at some point believed that iTunes on Windows would make more money than it cost, and they were probably right.

Should I convert to Google’s Ecosystem?

This isn’t really an easy question to answer. I, personally, prefer Google’s ecosystem because it focuses on openness and sharing.

This also leaves it open to more malicious players. I’ve been involved in computers and IT for more than 20 years, so I can smell activity with a bad scent. That may not be the same for all users.

The openness allows more peering eyes to discover exploits, but Google has done a lot to combat these problems, especially with Chromebooks. You can read why Chromebooks don’t need antivirus software.

What do you think?

Was this post helpful? Are there any thoughts, questions, or comments you would like to add? We would love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment or send us an email at [email protected].

Android Apps for Chromebook

By | Apps, How-To

Android Apps for Chromebook has made Chrome OS devices much more valuable as a Windows or MacOS alternative.

There’s a good chance your Chromebook or the Chrome OS device you are considering supports Android apps.

Read on, and find out what devices are supported, how to setup the device, and how to add Android apps to your Chromebook.

Which Chromebooks Support Android Apps

While it had some excellent utility for a low-end price tag, the list of Chromebook apps initially was limited to Chrome extensions and apps specifically designed for Chrome OS.

The lack of a thriving app ecosystem hindered the overall adoption because critics often compared it to a Windows-based or MacOS-based computer.

However, with a vast number of apps on Google Play and a similar device in terms of internal hardware, supporting the Android ecosystem was able to add a lot of functionality for a relatively low cost.

The initial attempts failed and didn’t work well with Android apps. After a scrapping the project for a more promising implementation, Chrome OS officially began supporting Android apps on limited devices in 2016.

Since the hardware and operating systems aren’t the same, there couldn’t be 100% support, but the people behind Chrome OS have continually added support for additional devices.

Chromebooks created after this feature was announced for the OS most likely included the necessary components. If your device was made in 2017 or after, it should come with this feature built-in.

If you have an earlier model, there is still a good possibility that your device supports Android apps. A list of devices that supoort Android apps can be found on the Chromium Projects Website.

How to Check if Your Chromebook Supports Android Apps

If you want to be able to check from your device, first check to make sure you are running Chrome OS 53 or higher. This is done by clicking on the time in the bottom-right corner > Settings > Menu > About Chrome OS.

If the device is running Chrome OS 53 or higher, you can check if the “Google Play Store” section is available in Settings. If it is, congratulations! Your device supports Android apps.

You can “Turn on” the “Install apps and games from Google Play on your Chromebook” option. In the window that comes up, you will need to agree to the Terms of Service. Once you click “I Agree”, you are ready to install some Android apps.

Additionally, an organization’s or school’s security policies may prohibit this feature. Supported devices would not have access to Android apps for Chromebook, in this case.

While in most cases, this is a great feature, some organizations may not want to expose their devices to the Android ecosystem.

If you need any additional help on your Chromebook setup, leave a comment or head over to Chromebook Help Center.

How to Install Android Apps

The process from here is rather simple because it basically mirrors what happens on an Android device. Here are the basic steps:

  • Open the Google Play Store app or navigate to play.google.com
  • Search for the app you want, or browse the recommended apps
  • Click on the desired Android app
  • Click on the Install button (or it will have a price listed if it’s a paid app)

Once downloaded, Android apps can be used and managed like your other Chromebook apps.

What to Expect from Android Apps

Generally, you should have a very nice experience with the news apps. However, most Android Apps were designed with a touch-screen smartphone or tablet in mind.

This means that some apps may not be very easy to use with a mouse and keyboard. With some Chromebooks not having touchscreens, these apps may be more trouble than they are worth.

Fortunately, this case should be few and far between, and with some of these having browser-based web apps, few users should run into this issue, if at all.

How to Rotate Screen on Chromebook

How to Rotate Screen on Chromebook?

By | Chromebook, How-To

If you’ve ever been stuck in the midst of a presentation on a Chromebook with a screen that needs to be rotated, and you have no idea how to make it happen, the result can be both frustrating and embarrassing—and it is the same is you are using Windows, Android, and Mac! There is nothing quite like the panic that sets in as you forget easy digital keyboard shortcuts for screen orientation or any other shortcut, which can feel a bit like standing at the ATM outside your bank and forgetting your password as a long and impatient line forms behind you.

Sometimes, it helps users to find silly ways to commit digital keyboard shortcuts to memory. “Never Eat Slimy Worms” has been recited by grade school students for years as they learn and commit to memory the directions of the compass, so why not try to create a clever trick to help you with Chromebook screen rotation?

The actual shortcut is to rotate the screen is quite simple: ctrl + shift + refresh.

But, perhaps the “refresh” key is the hang-up for some, trying to remember which button to press.

So, when your Chromebook screen needs to be rotated think “Control the situation, Shift the Screen, and Go for a Spin” because the refresh key actually looks like a spinning arrow.

Too much? Then aim to simply remember ctrl+shift+ refresh (or write it on your hand before the presentation).
Also, if you need to rotate the Chromebook screen more than 90 degrees, just repeat the ctrl + shift + refresh process to continue to move your screen another 90 degrees.

An alternative method to rotating the screen on your Chromebook is to go into settings, then display settings, and then change the screen back to “Standard.”

Once you have your screen back to the position you wish to view, you may want to look at other ways to display it. And since you’re here for help with your Chromebook’s overall functionality, we will go ahead and walk you through the steps you will take to connect your Chromebook to an external monitor.

A Chromebook can be connected to an external monitor and/or television monitor by using an HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, or a VGA port.

It’s possible you may need an adapter cable in order to hook up your Chromebook to an external monitor; in order to determine this, you should review the instructions that originally came with your Chromebook. While checking those instructions you should find out where the display output and input ports are located on your device; you can use these ports to insert an adaptor and then connect that also to a monitor.

Once you are connected, you will need to take a few additional steps in order to display your Chromebook screen on the monitor.

Step 1: Click on your account photo.
Step 2: Click on Settings.
Step 3: Look in the “Device” section and next click where it says “Displays.”
Step 4: Choose “Mirror Internal Display.” At this point, your Chromebook screen should show up on the external monitor.

You may need to adjust the screen as well and, in order to do that, you will take the following steps:

Step 1: Click on your account photo.
Step 2: Click on “Settings.”
Step 3: Look in the “Device” section and next click where it says “Displays.”
Step 4: Click on “Internal Display,” which will allow you to make the items on your screen larger or smaller using the “Display Size” option and it will also allow you to rotate the screen in the “Orientation” section.
Step 5: You can change screen sharpness by referring to the “Resolution” section.

Finally, one other area of useful information when it comes to screens and monitors for Chromebook users is the steps you would take to correct issues with the touchscreen monitor.

Step 1: Click on your account photo.
Step 2: Click on “Settings.”
Step 3: Look in the “Device” section and next click where it says “Displays.”
Step 4: Choose the monitor you need to calibrate.
Step 5: Click on “Calibrate.”
Step 6: Your Chromebook is then going to prompt you to tap on the corners of your screen and you will then follow the steps onscreen.

Chromebook PDF Editor

The Best PDF Tools for Chromebook in 2018

By | Chromebook

In this digital age, we refer to PDFs so often that plenty of people know the acronym without even understanding what it really means. It’s actually an acronym for portable document format. We take them for granted but at one time, as with all things in the rapidly moving age of technology, they were a revolutionary advancement. If you can recall a time when you received documents from others via email, opened them to find a page of absolute gibberish, then went back and forth in frustration until someone ultimately faxed the document (remember those relics?). If that was you once upon a time, then you understand why PDF files changed digital communication for the better. PDF technology allows us to display documents in a readable format regardless of the type of software that originally produced them. They are now the universal standard for sharing documents, and PDFs also allow us to share large documents in a compressed file size that is easy to exchange between multiple parties. Whether you are negotiating a real estate contract, filling out a waiver for your child’s summer camp, or sharing research with colleagues in the medical field, you are undoubtedly using PDFs on a weekly if not daily basis.

For Chromebook users, however, PDFs can sometimes present a challenge as there are Android apps. There have been some compatibility issues in terms of viewing and editing PDF documents on Chromebooks, but the good news is there are plenty of options available to improve the Chromebook-PDF experience. A number of easy-to-use tools available make it possible to view and edit PDFs on a Chromebook and all Chromebook users should ensure they have the right tools at their disposal. We will take a look at some of these tools to point you in the right direction and help you make the most of your Chromebook experience.

In order to view PDF documents on a Chromebook you may need to use browser-based PDF format software so let’s get started with some of your options.

PDFEscape

PDFescape is accessible to Chromebook users through the web browser and this easy-to-use app allows users to open PDFs and also edit them. You can add text to the document, whiteout unwanted content, and also add images. PDFescape also allows users to digitally sign documents and auto-fill forms. An added plus of PDFEscape is that it takes up little memory!

KAMI

The Kami Chrome extension (which was formerly known as Notable PDF) is a great option for Chromebook, enabling users to annotate PDFs as soon as you open them (rather than having to save them elsewhere first). Kami will sync your changes to Google Drive immediately as long as you are online while using the extension. The Kami tools (found in a vertical bar on the left-hand side of the screen) make it easy for Chromebook users to switch between the pen and the highlighter. A free version with ads allows you to add text, highlight text, and underline and strikethrough. The paid version has additional features, such as splitting/merging and OCR.

SQUID

Squid is an Android app that can be used for PDF viewing and editing on Chromebook. Users can auto-fill forms, mark up PDFs, and insert signatures with Squid. The quick copy/select/paste functions and the ability to move content between pages and notes make Squid a fantastic tool for academic or corporate settings.

SEJDA PDF Editor

SEJDA PDF Editor is a no-frills web-based app, which is primarily geared toward fast PDF signatures and also has some limited editing capabilities. This is the perfect option for those who primarily need to sign a PDF format, perhaps in a corporate setting or even for a stay-at-home parent who constantly needs to sign school permission forms.

PDF Studio

Considered the best alternative to Acrobat for Chromebook, PDF Studio boasts all of the features needed for PDF viewing and editing those accustomed to Acrobat would expect. You can insert digital signatures and fill and save forms, utilize advanced search options, and even open password protected documents. Paid versions of PDF Studio also allow to/from conversions, more annotation tools, and interactive form designer, and more.

PDF Viewer

This app from the Google Play store allows Chromebook users to view, search, and annotate PDFs. A simple double tap of the screen will allow you to zoom in directly to the text you want to view, and you can use your finger or your stylus to mark up the text. Plus, it is easy to quickly undo changes to make the editing process efficient. A paid Pro version of PDF viewer offers even more features and functionality for Chromebook users.

Xodo PDF Viewer and Editor

Xodo allows Chromebook users to view and edit PDFs with Google Drive support. You can write directly on the PDF, highlight text, and markup, merge and edit documents. It is compatible with Adobe Acrobat and allows Chromebook users to annotate PDFs with others in real time.

PDF Split!

As the name implies, this is the best tool for Chromebook users if you simply need to split PDF files. It allows you to choose a range of pages and extract them and save as separate files and this can be downloaded in the Chrome Store.

Soda PDF Online

This browser-based PDF software allows Chromebook users to edit PDFs while online. You can create a free account that will enable you to open and view any PDF file online and users are also able to access files saved in cloud storage folders. An added bonus of Soda PDF online is its security features: users can add passwords to documents and restrict printing as well.

Chromecast 2018

Chromecast 2018 Showcased at the Google Hardware Event

By | Chromebook

Here’s good news to all Internet savvy, particularly the Google frequenters. Google just showcased the latest Chromecast device during its recently-held hardware event. The annual tech affair, which featured an array of new gadgets including the latest mobile phone models, announced the latest software updates of Chromecast. If you don’t have a Smart TV, this is a great alternative that performs just as efficient and excellent as the WiFi signal.

What is Chromecast and What does it do?

As mentioned, Chromecast can offer you the benefits of watching on a Smart TV or Wi-Fi enabled TV even if your appliance is actually doesn’t have the said feature. With this latest software update, you TV can function just even smarter than any other similar appliance you see in the market. What makes the 2018 Chromecast is that it can add Bluetooth, and it has an enhanced 5 GHz Wifi — indeed, better than ever!

If you’ve only been hearing about Chromecast but you actually don’t know how to use it and how it works, well, it is a device that you can simply plug into the HDMI port of a TV. This is powered by the USB cable included in the package. Through the use of your computer or smartphone (as your remote control), you can use this technology to watch, access or stream video contents from your favorite sites like YouTube and Netflix, among others. The better news is that movies and videos are not the only things you can do with Chromecast. You can also make this function to access nearly any content type from your Chrome browser from a laptop or PC.

Chromecast for Chromebook

Is your computer a Chromebook? Then, you can stream videos and more from this electronic device, too. All you need to do is to download the Google Cast extension. Four (4) easy steps are all it takes to cast on your Chromebook. Simply follow these:

1. To cast from a Chrome browser, simply go to the page you intend to cast and open it.
2. On your toolbar, select the icon, ‘Cast.’
3. Select and click the Chromecast device.
4. After choosing the Chromecast device, the video you want to watch automatically plays on TV.

See? You need not own a Smart TV to watch your favorite videos, movies, and series from your frequently visited sites, on your TV. All you need is a Chromecast device that’s even enhanced this year. What can be better than knowing that you can now use this technology from your Chromebook?

How to Delete Apps on Chromebook

How to Delete Apps on Chromebook

By | Apps, Chromebook, How-To

Chromebook users, like most of us in the digital age, can become too “app happy” at times! Like when you get the latest Android device, it is tempting, especially with a new device, to go a bit overboard downloading new apps, some of which are never used and quickly forgotten. You probably downloaded the latest web app to ensure a secure browser, but have also ended up with numerous apps, extensions, and unwanted programs that do nothing more than use up valuable memory on your Chrome device. Therefore, getting rid of every free web app you don’t want will help you restore your Chromebook. Of course, there are some especially useful apps we may open on a daily basis. Budding composers may rely on music apps to work on their craft and a graphic designer might use image-editing apps often. However, there are plenty of apps that ultimately prove to be space-wasters on our Chromebooks, and if you have reached the point where you realize it’s time to clean house, so to speak, you have come to the right place! We will take a look at the easy steps you can take to delete unwanted apps from your Chromebook.

Chromebook differs from Windows, Linus, and Mac, where you can delete installed apps by right-clicking on the app icon and choosing to remove or uninstall. Because Chromebook users may have previously worked in these systems, there could be an initial sense of frustration that the app removal is not as simple as one right click! However, it can still be done with relative ease, allowing you to clean up your Chromebook and free up some of your system memory. There is no need to leave all the unused apps there to waste memory when they could be replaced with something you may actually use and use often!

In order to delete these unwanted apps from a Chromebook you have two different options: users may uninstall them using the Google Play Store or they can be uninstalled by using the launcher. Read on to follow the easy steps for either method.

Uninstall Apps on a Chromebook in the Google Play Store

1. Start by selecting the Google Play Store icon on the shelf.
2. Next, you should click on the menu icon, which is located next to the search bar on the Chromebook.
3. Then you will select “My Apps and Games.”
4. Select each of the apps you wish to delete from your Chromebook, then choose “uninstall,” and finally select “OK.”
And there you have it! Now you have freed up space on your Chromebook for more useful apps.

Uninstall Apps on a Chromebook in the Launcher

For an even quicker way to remove unwanted apps from your Chromebook, you can use the launcher to uninstall them in two easy steps.
1. Open the launcher on your Chromebook.
2. First, select “All Apps,” then go to each app you want to remove, right click on each one, and finally select “Uninstall.”
Hey, presto! You have cleaned up your Chromebook and rid your memory space of unused apps.

Now that you have completed the “house cleaning” on your Chromebook you may want to consider adding new apps that will be useful to you based on your occupation, interests, and hobbies. The world of apps can be overwhelming to navigate so we will give you a good head start by suggesting some of the best and most popular Chromebook apps.

Best Apps for Chromebook

Office Online

If you are accustomed to working in Microsoft Office, the free Office Online app will allow you to create and edit Office documents on a Chromebook. This allows users to avoid some of the hiccups when working on Office documents in Google Docs, eliminating the possibility of compatibility issues when working with other Office users.

Paperfile

For Chromebook users in academic settings, Paperfile is a fantastic app for managing and keeping track of references and sources. The service helps users with the generation of properly formatted citations and keeps track of a wide variety of sources users can annotate or tag. This is an indispensable tool for those in academic research and the app comes with a free 30-day trial (and after that costs $2.99 per month).

StayFocusd

If you’re a Chromebook user who hardly made it through this brief article without stopping several times to check social media, instant messages, and game scores, StayFocusd may be the app for you! This app allows you to set limits on the time you can spend on certain sites and when the allotted time has been used, the sites are blocked. It can be a great tool when deadlines are looming and the temptation to waste time is a constant challenge for procrastinators.

Overdrive

A dream app for book lovers, Overdrive is linked to more than 30,000 libraries. The app allows you to digitally check out and return books. Additionally, you can use the app on Chromebook but also sync to other devices, so you can easily switch between reading on your Chromebook and your phone or other devices.

LastPass

Let’s face it, how much time do we spend trying to remember passwords, failing to do so, and then being forced to change them, starting the entire process over again? LastPass is a fantastic app that serves as your personal password manager. The app helps users generate passwords and then saves them into an encrypted locker, which you can access with one master password. So now you only have one password to remember rather than 27!

Netflix

Netflix users can add the app to their Chromebook for a much better viewing experience than streaming video on a smaller phone screen. In the Google Play Store, Netflix, and other Android entertainment apps are now available to turn Chromebooks into portable entertainment devices. (Just be sure to block Netflix with StayFocusd when a deadline is looming!)