Category

Chromebook

laptop books

Reading E-Books on a Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To

Do Chromebooks Make Good E-Readers?

Chromebooks have become a very popular option thanks to their affordable price and long battery life. Today, they can do much more than just help you edit text and access email. Now you can edit images, play games, watch movies, and even use them to read e-books.

But the question is, do Chromebooks make good e-readers? The answer is yes.

How to Read E-Books on a Chromebook

In order to have a quality e-book reading experience on your Chromebook, you will have to set up a few things first. The best possible experience depends on the Chromebook model. If you read a lot of e-books, it’s not a bad idea to use a Chromebook that can be held like a tablet. The Chromebook Flip is a great example. You will be glad to know that Kindle offers the Kindle Cloud Reader app, which can easily be downloaded to your Chromebook to get access to all the Amazon books you have on your account. But if you don’t have any Amazon books, you can still use Chromebook to read e-books.

There are a number of apps and extensions that make this possible, like the Google Play Books app and Readium. To access library books, the OverDrive app will be your best bet. Audiobooks are also available through OverDrive, as well as through Audible.

As with many other apps today, there are subscription services for books, too. Scribd is one of them, offering more than 500,000 titles, and Kindle Unlimited is another option, with 750,000 titles. If you’re more into comics, Marvel and Comixology have you covered.

At this point, OverDrive seems like the optimal option for many, as it’s compatible with all e-book formats (except PDF) and all audiobook formats.

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Why You Should Use Your Chromebook as an E-Book Reader

If you’re wondering whether you should get a dedicated e-book reader or a Chromebook, here are a few benefits to using a Chromebook:

  • With Chromebook, it’s much easier to write notes and create content than when using a dedicated e-book reader. Quickly write notes and save them to Google Drive for later access. This is perfect for those who are reading academically or in a learning capacity.
  • Many new monitors have a special “Reading mode” that reduces blue light (which is known to hinder sleep) and minimizes eye strain. This can be achieved on Chromebook with apps like Twilight or Screen Shader, which are available in the Chrome Web Store.
  • Chromebooks tend to be the better option for viewing PDFs.
  • A dedicated e-book reader supports all formats but might be locked to certain services (only Kindle books, for instance). With Chromebook, you can read all e-books thanks to supporting multiple apps, e-book libraries, and services.
  • Most e-book readers have limited functionality, enabling web browsing, for instance, but not much else. Chromebooks cover a wide array of functions, from browsing and checking email to editing text and photos, playing games, and more.

Ultimately, a Chromebook makes an excellent e-book reader, and it provides the added benefit of multiple functionalities, making it the more cost-effective option.

closeup view of chrome logo on laptop

The First Steps to Owning a Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To, Making the Switch

You Purchased a Chromebook – Now What?

Getting your Chromebook can be exciting, but overwhelming, because you may not know where to turn first! There are several things you should do when you first get your Chromebook, such as setting it up properly, learning how to customize it, and getting all the must-have apps and products to ensure you have a seamless experience.

Personalization

Change Your Theme 

You simply have to visit the Chrome Web Store and browse through themes. If you find one you like, just select Add to Chrome and the theme will be installed. If you access your account on another Chromebook, the theme will appear there as well, because it’s linked to your account and is synced across all devices you use.

Shelf 

There are several options for organizing your apps. First, the Shelf is the taskbar at the very bottom of your interface. You can pin your favorite apps to the taskbar for easy access by right-clicking on the app you want and choosing Pin to Shelf. And apps aren’t the only thing you can put there. If there’s a site you visit frequently, you can bookmark the Shelf by choosing the More option in your browser, then More Tools and Add to Shelf.

Organize Your Apps 

Start off organized and on the right foot. You can create App Folders the same way you create them on an Android phone: by dropping one app on top of another. Holding the folder for a longer time allows you to change its name. This will reduce clutter and group apps according to usage, making you more productive.

Set Up (Multiple) User Profiles

Chromebook is designed in such a way that you can set up fully separate profiles, with each profile having their own personal settings, apps, and controls. If you have children, it’s not a bad idea to set up restricted profiles via the Supervised Users option that acts as a parental control. Using to this option, you can limit which sites they have access to. What’s more, safe search can’t be disabled.

Use Guest Mode

By utilizing Guest Mode, you can safely give your Chromebook to someone else without allowing them access to any of your documents or data. Plus, your browsing history and bookmarks will also be safe. All data that was accessed in Guest Mode is wiped clean once done.

Set Up a VPN

A VPN keeps you safe online, which is particularly important on a Chromebook because of its various online functions. Connecting to public networks always comes with a risk, and thanks to a VPN that adds another layer of protection, your data will be hidden from any prying eyes. Some VPN providers have their own apps that you can download from the Chrome Web Store, so make sure to check that before choosing your provider.

Essential Apps

You will need some additional apps to make your Chromebook into a powerhouse. The volume of available apps is growing every day, but here’s a list to get you started:

Google Drive and G-Suite – With Docs, Slides, and Sheets, you have all the essentials of an office suite that works across all Chrome OS devices.

Gmail – A no-brainer, really. There’s no productivity if you don’t have email. You can choose between the web version or the Android app.

Microsoft Office – Microsoft Office is available in the form of Android apps for Chromebooks, so just download them from the Play Store and log in with your Microsoft account.

Keep – Keep your digital notes organized with Keep.

Slack or Skype – To keep in touch with colleagues, you can use Skype or Slack, as both have native Android apps readily available for use.

Google Calendar – Keep track of all your meetings and tasks with the web or app version.

Pixlr – Web-based image editor, free to use.

AdBlock – If ads are testing your patience, AdBlock will help you keep your sanity.

The Great Suspender – Each open tab eats away your resources. The Great Suspender makes sure to suspend the tab you aren’t using at the time. It’s still there, but it’s not hogging your resources until you need it. Simply reload the tab to use again.

Learn Your Shortcuts

Shortcuts were made in heaven. They make things much easier and faster, and in today’s fast-paced world, it’s no wonder why so many people use them. There’s a very extensive list of Chromebook shortcuts you can use, all readily available on Google’s support pages.

Once you have taken these steps, your Chromebook is all set up and ready to go!

 

woman recording content for a vlog

Chromebooks for Vloggers

By Chromebook, How-To

Vlogging on a Chromebook

As a lightweight, easy-to-carry and affordable option, Chromebooks are gaining traction with bloggers and vloggers. Many are unsure whether the Chromebook has what it takes to actually produce videos for vlogs and be a sustainable alternative for bloggers, so let’s take a closer look at vlogging on a Chromebook, the features you can use, and whether it’s actually possible.

What is Needed to Vlog on a Chromebook

The biggest criticism with Chromebooks for creatives is normally that you can’t use Photoshop or Premier. However, there are a number of other apps available to give you the bare essentials. Chromebooks are more flexible now, which means there are a wider variety of apps than ever before.

To get started vlogging on a Chromebook, you need to be able to do three things: photo editing, video recording, and video editing. Here are some of the options you have available.

Video Recording Apps

If you don’t have a camera and wish to record your video with a Chromebook, you should know that there is not a pre-installed app or extension for that purpose, so you’ll have to find one on the Chrome Web Store first.

Once you install the app, you will have to grant permissions; otherwise, the app won’t be able to access your webcam.

  • Clipchamp – An extension that can record, convert, compress, edit, and upload videos. It can be used on Chromebook and is a very popular choice for recording videos because it’s all-encompassing. It runs in the browser, but the videos are actually processed locally. The process is rather CPU-intensive, so it’s best to close other processes before you start recording.
  • io – Another web-based recorder that keeps things simple. You simply give permissions and can start recording as soon as you push the red circle on your screen. Once you have recorded everything, click Stop > Save and Download the video.

Of course, many vloggers prefer to record video using a DSLR camera or their own device, which is a perfectly viable alternative. If you go that route, you’ll simply need the right editing software.

Photo Editing Apps

In order to really stand out, you’ll need to be able to edit photos, whether it’s a still image in your video or cover images for your channel and social media. To make photos more appealing, you can use any of the various photo editing apps available for Chromebooks, including:

  • Pixlr – A web-based photo editor that comes as close to Photoshop as possible. You can edit images to your liking, and it’s free to use. The downside: as a free software, it has a number of ads, which could be a deal breaker for some.
  • Polarr – Another web-based photo editor with basic options available for free; the full range of options is behind a one-time $20 paywall, however. Still, the options are really powerful, so if you use photo editors a lot, this would be a good choice.
  • Adobe Suite – There are multiple Adobe apps available: Photoshop and Lightroom are available too, but they are not as strong when compared to Windows versions. Other apps include Sketch and Photoshop Mix for Chromebook users.

Video Editing Apps

Add fun effects, transitions, and the professional editing touch to your videos, particularly for vloggers aiming to monetize and build a foundation for income. These editing apps for vloggers are available on the Chromebook:

  • PowerDirector – A video editor made for Android that also works well on Chromebook. You can easily import and edit videos, even in 1080p and 4K resolutions. Its best selling point is the effects that can be added: slow motion, transition, and more. Plus, the interface is simple and intuitive. One word of warning, however: it does take quite a lot of time to export videos once you’re done editing, since there’s no hardware acceleration available.
  • KineMaster – Offers all the options that PowerDirector does, but it’s popular because of its themes. The tool’s Project Assistant basically builds your videos for you: you choose the artwork, fonts, music, and visual style, and then you let the wizard do its magic. It’s available for a monthly fee only, but there’s a trial version as well, so you can try everything out before you commit.
  • WeVideo – A feature-packed editor available to Chromebooks with access to Google Play, like the Acer Chromebook 14. Thanks to the intuitive interface, it can be used right away and offers video upload options to Instagram, Facebook, or Google Drive. Its subscription-based, and if you use the free version, you will have a watermark on your videos. It features an extensive media library full of free music and sound effects, which makes working in this editor a real treat.

For the naysayers, vlogging is more than possible with a Chromebook. And thanks to the vast number of apps and extensions available for Chromebooks today, it’s actually easier than ever.

 

laptop business

How To Use Your Chromebook For Business

By Chromebook, How-To

Can Your Chromebook Keep up?

Chromebooks are a cloud-based option that many users have grown to love because they are lightweight, easy to use on the go, and affordable. Today, many apps that you download on your Chromebook can run while you are offline too. But are they a valid choice for a business?

Surprisingly, Chromebooks have quite a lot to offer to the corporate world, particularly for those who need to lug them around all day!

Startups and Entrepreneurs

The trend today, especially for many startups, is to limit the amount of overhead costs they have and to find cost-effective solutions for their business. If your desktop computer or workstation is not being used to its full potential because you work with online apps, you might want to consider switching to a lightweight solution. If your work is mostly cloud-based, prefer cloud-based storage solutions and automatic backups, rely on various web apps for productivity and want minimal setup issues, the Chromebook will be a great choice for your business or small team.

G-Suite for Businesses

With G-Suite, Google’s solution for both small and large businesses, you get access to everything you need to streamline your processes, collaborate with colleagues, and easily work on your projects. G-Suite is a very powerful bundle of cloud computing, collaboration and productivity tools, software, and products.

With it, you can connect with your colleagues easily through Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Plus, Hangouts Chat, and Meet. Get quick access to all the apps needed to successfully work on your projects: from Docs and Sheets, all the way to Sites and Keep. All your files and data can be stored on the Google Drive, and you can easily find all of them thanks to Google Cloud Search.

Larger businesses will be happy to know that Google has introduced Jamboard, a digital whiteboard. Jamboard offers a completely new, innovative new way to work on projects and visualize ideas interactively.

Chromebook as a Business Solution

Even though Chromebooks have a reputation as being a lightweight option for simple tasks only, much has changed in recent years, and Google is offering Chromebook solutions for both smaller and larger businesses.

If you are debating whether you can use a Chromebook for business, the short answer is: Yes, you can. There are certain things to take in consideration, of course. For instance, their processing power isn’t as strong when compared to regular desktops—they aren’t meant for monumental tasks that require vast amounts of processing power. They also can’t be used with legacy software, so a regular computer would be better suited in that case.

But, there are many benefits to using Chromebooks for business: they are easy to set up and use, scale perfectly, and management is minimal. Thanks to their automatic backup and synchronization, you can always be sure that all your data is safely stored in case something happens to your device or you have particularly clumsy staff.

Thanks to the built-in antivirus, regular security updates bundled with a verified boot and strong encryption, they are one of the safest options available out there for your business.

laptop case

Personalize Your Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To

5 Ways to Make Your Chromebook Uniquely Yours

One thing that various operating systems have got us used to is customizing appearance settings down to the smallest detail. Chrome OS also has rather decent customization options. Here’s how you can use these themes and other options to personalize your Chromebook.

1. The Chrome Launcher and Personalization Options

The Chrome operating system has the same basics as any Android device: it requires a (system) launcher in order to operate. This launcher is where everything else happens. The launcher includes the home screen, the app drawer, and pretty much everything else. Many Android-based phones can easily run launchers different from the stock launcher, which makes the customization options endless.

When it comes to the Chromebook, however, the possibilities are a bit more limited. Even though this is bound to change at some point, right now, you can only run the stock launcher. What you can do, however, is change other elements within the launcher to personalize your Chromebook.

2. Change the Wallpaper

One of the oldest personalization options available, the wallpaper is the easiest way to quickly personalize your Chromebook. Chromebook comes with a variety of readily available wallpaper options. You can access them by right-clicking or two-finger tapping the trackpad and choosing the “Set Wallpaper” option. A new window will pop up where you can browse through the wallpapers.

You can also use your own images as wallpapers if they are stored locally or on Google Drive. Click the “Custom” option to get access to those images. One very nifty option that Chrome OS has is “Surprise me.” If you tick the box next to this option, your wallpaper will change every time you log in to your Chromebook.

3. Change the Whole Theme

Another great personalization option for your Chromebook is changing the theme. In order to do this, you have to click the status area that’s located near your account picture, then go to Settings > Appearance, and finally, choose Browser Themes.

This will open the Chrome Web Store and let you browse through various themes. Once you have found a theme to your liking, you can easily set it up by selecting the “Add to Chrome” button. This theme is bound to your account, and it will sync with all the computers you use. If you want to use it only on your Chromebook, you will have to use selective sync to make sure it stays only there.

4. Put Folders in the App Drawer

If you have ever moved an app around an Android phone, you might have accidentally dropped it on top of another app, only to find them both in the same place, in a folder. Folder creation is done the same way in Chrome OS – just drop an app on top of another to get started. The default name will be “Unnamed folder”, so make sure to change the name.

Unfortunately, a folder can’t be created on the shelf or added to it, but having folders still helps you keep your Chromebook nice, tidy and keeps your personal favorites grouped together.

5. Personalize Your Shelf

The taskbar at the very bottom of your interface is called a shelf, and it can be customized too. You can change the position easily by right-clicking or two-finger tapping the trackpad, then go to “Shelf Position” and pick the position that suits you best.

If you feel like the shelf is a distraction, you can choose the auto-hide option for it. It will appear once you move the cursor to the edge of the screen. This option only works if you have other apps open. If there are no other apps, the shelf will stay visible.

Choose the apps you like most and add shortcuts to the shelf. This is rather easy to do: go to your favorite app, right-click on it, and click the “Pin to shelf” option which will create a shortcut. Plus you can add bookmarks there too, by accessing “More” in the browser, then “More Tools” and finally “Add to Shelf.”

One of the most common listed disadvantages of a Chromebook is their lack of customization options but as you can see, there is plenty to get you started. With their library full of various themes that you can apply to your Chromebook to switch things up a bit, Chrome OS can be customized to provide an experience to your liking.

 

cybersecurity

Protect Your Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To

5 Ways to Increase Your Chromebook’s Security

Chromebooks are considered as one of the most secure options available at this time, as all the local data is encrypted by the system—from cookies and browser cache, all the way to personal and business files and data.

Chrome OS also has a verified boot, and every single application and page runs in a sandbox. When coupled with automatic system updates, it’s clear that their security is on the very top of the priority list!

Even if they are the most secure option out there, there are still things you can do to boost security a bit more so here are 5 more ways for the security conscious to lock up your Chromebook extra tight!

1. Biometric Security Options: Fingerprint Sensors

A decade ago, fingerprint unlocking was still vastly in the realm of fiction, mostly being featured in movies and TV shows. There were a few devices that used it, but those weren’t for general use. Today, a vast amount of smartphones have fingerprint locks with Apple’s iPhone being the first and then other manufacturers following suit.

Chromebooks are now in the biometric game too with the newest models (that will be available soon) being equipped with a fingerprint sensor. There’s currently a nifty way to get the fingerprint unlock without the sensor—through the Smart Lock feature.

2. Smart Lock: Unlocking Chrome with an Android Phone

The Smart Lock option makes it possible to unlock your Chromebook with your phone. Using your Android phone, it can act as a key to unlock your Chromebook—as long as your phone is within 100 feet and unlocked, you won’t need to use your password. A simple click on your picture will grant you access.

In order to set this up, you will have to access the main settings in your Chromebook, and then go to:

“Show Advanced Settings” located at the very end of the main settings menu > Here, click the “Smart Lock for Chromebook” option to set it up.

You will be prompted to enter your password at this point. From here on, the setup will guide you through the process. You will be prompted to “Find Your Phone,” and once you do, hit  “Use This Phone.”

This option works well with any type of unlocking you have set up on your phone, as long as your phone runs Android 5.0 or higher. This includes fingerprint unlocking too.

Important: Smart Lock only works if both your phone and Chromebook have an active internet connection and Bluetooth enabled.

3. Your Google Account

Because your Google Account is the main way to get to your Chromebook, a secure password is very important. In addition to this, Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is crucial to keep your Google Account truly secure. You will need the Google Authenticator app installed on your phone, and it will generate a code or send a text message for each new login. That way, even if you’re hacked, they can’t get to your data.

If you ever get an authentication request you didn’t expect, change your account passwords immediately.

4. Restrict Sign-In

Chromebook, although you can personalize it, doesn’t hold any personalization offline. Everything is synced by default and cloud-based. This means that as soon as you log in to another Chromebook, it will feel and look just like your own device. This is great if you want to get a new Chromebook, not so great for stopping anyone with a Google account from signing in and changing a bunch of features. In order to protect your Chromebook from unauthorized logins, you can use the restrict sign-in feature, which limits access to the people who can sign in to include only you, or you can authorize selected family/friends.

You will find this option under Settings > Users > Manage Other Users.

5. VPN’s and Why They Are a Big Deal

Chromebooks are primarily cloud-based devices, which means they heavily rely on having an Internet connection. Whenever you connect your Chromebook to a public network, there is a risk that someone could interfere with your data. By using a VPN, you are adding an additional layer of protection that prevents others from seeing your activity. This includes anyone who might have malicious intent, but also marketers and others.

In the age of data security and online usage, it’s important to protect your information and your device, so make these changes to your Chromebook and you’ll be safe in the knowledge you are well protected.

 

keyboard

Increase Your Efficiency: Time Saving Hacks

By Chromebook, How-To

10 Chromebook Shortcuts You Need to Know

Using shortcuts improves efficiency, saves time, and makes you more productive. Chromebook offers a number of shortcuts that make things more convenient and help you work faster. With over 100 options on what to do with various keys, you can do wonders once you get a hang of it.

Thanks to various shortcuts, you can start apps or switch between them, check notifications, access various menus, and do pretty much anything else that comes to mind. Shortcuts are set up as with any other OS, and you will use modifier keys (Alt, Shift, and Control) for quick access to improve utility to a wide range of Chromebook options and features.

The universal ones, like Control+C or Control+V, you probably already know. But there are numerous others that you should know of.

Here are the 10 Chromebook shortcuts everyone should know by heart for quicker control that will make you look like a pro!

1. Shift+Escape

If you have ever run into a problem with Windows, you should know the Ctrl+Alt+Delete combo by heart. The Shift+Escape is the Chromebook alternative. When you hit this shortcut, you will open the Task Manager. From the manager, you will have a complete overview of all the apps that are running, how many resources each of them is using, whether an app is experiencing any issues like being unresponsive, and so on.

From here, you can easily force-close an unresponsive app. If you can’t seem to make this shortcut work, remember that it will only work if Chrome is the active window.

2. Search+L

This keyboard shortcut locks your Chromebook. When you get up from your Chromebook, it’s wise to hit this shortcut to make sure nobody else can use it. When you return, you will be prompted to write your password to unlock the Chromebook again.

3. Ctrl+Alt+N

This shortcut will grant you quick access to all your notifications.

4. Ctrl+F5

Hitting Control + F5 will take a screenshot. If you wish to take a partial screenshot only, you use Ctrl+Shift+F5, and click and drag the area you want to take a screenshot of.

5. Ctrl+Shift+QQ

If you wish to log out of your Chromebook quickly, you need to hold down control and shift, and hit the Q button twice.

6. Alt+Search

The Caps Lock key is actually not Caps Lock but a search function. If you hit this key, you will prompt open the search function (as is indicated by the magnifying glass on it). In order to actually toggle Caps Lock, you will need to use the Alt modifier with Search.

7. Alt+1 (to 9)

This shortcut provides you quick access to your favorite apps (apps that you have pinned onto the shelf). Pressing Alt+1 will open the leftmost app, Alt+2 will open the second from the left, and so on.

8. Alt+E

To quickly open the browser menu, use the Alt modifier and the letter E.

9. Alt+Backspace

Using Alt with backspace will delete the character that’s on the right of your cursor. This shortcut acts as a Delete key on a Windows PC.

10.Ctrl+Alt+?

If you can’t remember a shortcut combo, using Ctrl+Alt+? will open the menu of all the possible shortcuts, so it’s best to NOT forget this one.

Shortcuts can definitely make our lives easier so when using your Chromebook, commit these to memory and you’ll be extra speedy next time you want to use all your features.

laptop beach

5 Ways to Work Offline on a Chromebook

By Chromebook, How-To

Say Goodbye to the Days of Required Internet

When Chromebook made its debut, it was no more than a conduit to all things Internet, especially Gmail, Google Drive, and other Google Cloud services. There wasn’t a single thing you could do on them if you were unlucky enough to have a limited or no Internet connection at all. And, this reputation has stuck with Chromebooks.

Google, however, was quick to rectify this oversight. Today, there’s quite a lot you can do offline with a Chromebook. In order for an app to run offline, the app needs to run everything locally and Google solved this by introducing “Packaged Apps” that can execute locally.

For a quick reference on how to work offline on a Chromebook, here’s a list of various things that you can access offline.

 1. Check Emails and Schedule

Thanks to Gmail Offline, you can read, search, and respond to your emails. Of course, sending is not an option, as you need an Internet connection for that, but you can do everything else. If you send replies they will be held until you have internet connection again before they are sent.

How to Enable: Go to: Chrome Web Store and open the Gmail Offline page.

Then click on Add to Chrome > Add App.

A launcher will appear in the corner of the screen. Once you click it, click the Gmail Offline app, and then the option to Allow Offline Mail.

This will prompt the download of your messages so that you can view them and write replies. All operations you do offline will be synced once you go online.

2. Play Music and Movies

For Music and Movies, you will need the Google Play Music and Google Play Movies apps. In order to enjoy movies, music and TV shows offline, you will have to buy and download them in their respective apps, making sure they are synced to your device before going offline. However, Google Play Music also allows you to upload any music you might have in your personal collection and play this when you’re offline too.

3. Play Games

Not all games can be played offline, but there’s a decent collection that you can enjoy and generally something for everyone. In order to find them, go to the Chrome Web Store, click on Games and check the “Runs Offline” box. For instance, Cut the Rope is available for offline play. Then simply download the ones of interest and the next time you’re offline, you’ll have something to occupy your time.

4. Take Notes

Google Keep lets you take notes while you are offline too and while you can save and edit offline, you’ll need an internet connection to sync them and fully save them.

5. Edit Photos and Documents

Since Google Drive introduced offline support, viewing, creating, and editing documents or photos is available while you are offline as well. No need to worry about changes being saved- all of them will be synced as soon as you connect to the Internet again.

How to Enable: Go to the main Google Drive page and click the Cog icon > Settings. Under General Options, search for Offline options. There will be an option to enable syncing of documents to the computer, so check the box next to it. Once you have done so, syncing will begin. Make sure everything is synced before you go offline.

To edit photos, you can use Pixlr Touch Up and apply quick edits, crop images, blur them, add filters or effect, or some text.

To use your Chromebook and all of its features, obviously an internet connection is going to be essential, but in those times when you can’t find one, you’ll still have plenty of tools at your fingertips for work, entertainment and fun. As Chromebook continues to develop and improve, I’m sure we’ll see their offline features increase, closing the gap between them and regular notebooks.

computer gaming control

10 Free Games to Get for Your Chromebook

By Chromebook, Games

Games Optimized for You

Since Chromebooks are now able to run Android apps through the Google Play Store, you can choose from numerous games to play. What you should keep in mind though is that some games do not work well on the Chrome OS, while others aren’t compatible at all. Here are 10 games that are well-optimized for your Chromebook, available for free:

1. Asphalt Airborne 8

Those who love racing games will enjoy Asphalt Airborne 8 by Gameloft. The game features some of the highest-performance cars and bikes available in the market. The arcade racing game comes with over 190 cars and bikes to choose from and has everything from Lamborghini Veneno, Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari. Race your opponents on over 40 tracks and enjoy 16 different racing modes, the most interesting one being mirror mode, where the track is reversed to give you a new challenge in a familiar setting. You can customize your cars and bikes and upgrade them to take out your opponents in multiplayer leagues and seasons, and enjoy over 400 events and 9 racing seasons in Career mode.

2. Agar.io

Agar.io is an online game available on Chromebook that has become very popular quickly and was even featured in the TV show House of Cards. The game is simple yet addictive. You start as a blob, and in order to succeed, you have to travel around and eat other blobs (players), which makes you grow. By growing, you become more powerful and learn new abilities.

3. Plague Inc.

For those who like to run doomsday simulations, Plague Inc. is the way to go. The goal is to wipe out humanity from the face of the Earth by spreading a disease that you mutate, so it becomes more and more infectious. The basic version is free, and you can unlock additional features with an in-app purchase.

4. Tiny Tower

For casual gamers, Tiny Tower from NimbleBit LLC is a perfect choice. What you do in this game is manage people who live in a tiny tower (hence the name). You have to build attractions and shops, which will help you earn money to add more floors to the Tower to attract bitizens to live there. The challenge is to keep everything running smoothly. You can even visit your friend’s towers,  thanks to the Play Games integration, and get special perks through special missions. The game is free, but you can purchase items in-game.

5. Leap Day

Leap Day is an action platformer game that is very fast paced and will require quick reflexes. The controls are super easy, and you only have to tap or click to jump or double jump and climb the levels. What makes this game unique is that the courses change daily, so there’s always something to look forward to every day. The retro pixel art is reminiscent of the old games we used to enjoy and love. The game itself is free, but does offer in-app purchases and contains ads that can be removed with a one-time payment.

6. Polycraft

Polycraft is basically Minecraft from Chromebook, but has tower defense and RPG elements too. Your character is stranded on an island; you have to build a shelter to be safe from warring tribes, expand your base by building structures, walls, towers, and gather resources, then join forces with Wildlings in order to win.

7. Arcane Legends

This is a free to play action and adventure MMORPG from Spacetime Studios that you can play on your Chromebook. The game features a fantasy world that you can enjoy solo or with friends. Level up, get great gear, tame cute pets, and do your best to be the best in the kingdom of Arlor.

8. Two Dots

Progress through levels by connecting the dots of the same hue and getting the required number of dots connected. This simple premise makes the game super addictive, and as you progress through levels, they become more and more challenging. You can use your screen or your touchpad to connect the dots.

9. Save the Day

This is an old-school arcade game that is quite challenging. You are in a helicopter and your mission is to rescue survivors and avoid fires. The game has super cartoony graphics and snack-sized gameplay that can help you relax when you take a quick break.

10. Threes!

When it comes to puzzle games, Threes is definitely on the very top of the addictive ones. The premise is simple: You start with 1s and 2s and have to add matching tiles together (3 with 3, 6 with 6, 12 with 12) to finish a level. This game supports touch screen tap controls only.

It doesn’t have to cost you to play games on the Chromebook and these are some excellent ideas to get you started and probably playing for hours.

Android games for chromebook

5 Android Games to Play on Chromebook

By Chromebook, Games

Which Android Games Can You Play on Your Chromebook?

You might think that having a Chromebook limits the number of games you can play and while this is partly true, it limits less than you might think! There are a number of games that are compatible with your Chromebook, especially since Chromebooks can run apps from the Google Play Store. Here are some super fun Android games that you can play.

1. Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens started as a physical card game on Kickstarter and was the brainchild of The Oatmeal. Soon after the campaign, the game was fully funded and continued to be backed up by fans so much that it became one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time. Thanks to this success, a digital version for Android was made as well, and it works on Chromebooks too.

The goal is to make sure you don’t draw an exploding kitten card and aim to compel the others plays to draw it. The person who draws an exploding kitten and doesn’t have a defuse card is out. The last one standing is the winner.

You can play against friends or random players. The game controls are simple – just click and drag a card to play it and the newest update also has a single player mode, so you can play against bots when you don’t feel like playing against other players. The base game costs just $1.99; expansion sets are also available.

2. Sonic the Hedgehog Classic

If you would love to take a trip down memory lane, this is a game for you. The once immensely popular game, Sonic the Hedgehog, is back. Take Sonic and race through the classic zones, collect rings, and spin the best loops while you are on a mission to save the world from Dr. Eggman.

The game is fully optimized for mobile devices and runs well on Chromebooks too. There are some new modes available, like the “Gotta Go Fast“ mode where you challenge yourself in Time Attack based mode, and there are new playable characters available as well, such as Tails and Knuckles.

3. Fallout Shelter

Those who have played the Fallout game series by Black Isle Studios and Bethesda Softworks are very familiar with Fallout Shelter. This is what Sim City would look like in a post-apocalyptic setting. Your goal is to build a bunker to accommodate a group of survivors that keeps growing and manage the bunker and survivors by assigning them jobs and providing them with various training, weapons, and outfits, all while making sure that they all get along well.

4. Alto’s Adventure

This is one of the best games you can play on your Chromebook. Developed by Noodlecake Studios Inc., Alto’s Adventure is an action-packed snowboarding odyssey that follows Alto and his friends as they journey through the hills, woodlands, ruins, and wilderness.

The game has a fluid, physics-based gameplay that will keep you glued to your Chromebook for hours. It’s easy to play but rather difficult to master, and you will spend hours mastering combos to max out your speed and points while trying to achieve all 180 goals.

5. Dark Orbit

Fans of science-fiction will enjoy DarkOrbit, which was released a while ago, and it had a bit of a rough start. Over time, however, the developers added more features, so the game at its current state is action-packed and fun, and provides a smooth gaming experience.

The Dark Orbit player base is huge, and you battle other players and take resources for your ships and weapons. You can choose one of three companies that compete for control and enjoy complex quests and customize your spaceships.

As you can see, there are plenty of Android Games that you can play on the Chromebook for better compatibility so you won’t miss out.