In addition to operating systems like Windows and mac OS, Google’s Chrome OS is a new option. This is an excellent platform for a specific audience, like other competitors, it has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you are planning to buy a Chromebook, the first thing to do is understand exactly what Chrome OS is, how it compares to more traditional operating systems, and who should or shouldn’t use it. You will find answers to all these questions and more in this article.
What is Chrome OS?
Chrome OS is an operating system developed and owned by Google. It is based on Linux and has an open source version, and its open source version Chromium OS is free to use.
One of the great advantages of Chrome OS is its simplicity. Although the desktop environment of Chrome OS is similar to Windows, the main functions of Chrome OS are based on the Chrome browser. You can watch videos, browse Facebook and other social networks, and all other actions performed in browsers on rival operating systems (such as Windows and macOS).
Like Android phones, Chrome OS devices can access the Google Play Store, but only devices released in 2017 and later can. This means that most of the apps that you can download and run on your Android phone can also be used on Chrome OS.
However, keep in mind that not all of these apps are optimized for Chrome OS. The only program that is not optimized is the size of the phone screen, which only occupies a part of the Chromebook screen.
The simplicity of Chrome OS also has a major drawback. Unlike Windows and macOS devices, you cannot download and run AAA games, nor can you use desktop programs like Adobe Premiere Plus. You can only run programs and games on the Play Store and Linux programs. This is why Chromebooks are not for everyone.
Difference between Chrome OS and Chrome browser?
Google’s browser lets you access the web and works almost the same on all platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Android. Its competitors include browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Brave. According to data from StatCounter, Chrome is currently the most popular browser in the world, with a market share of approximately 65% of all platforms combined.
Chrome OS is the operating system for Chromebooks, just as Windows is the operating system for Windows devices. It comes with a Chrome browser that can be used to access the web. The operating system is designed around simplicity, so it doesn’t have a lot of extra features other than launching the Chrome browser and browsing the web.
In the past, people used to say that Chrome OS is just a great browser. This may have been the case a few years ago, but it is and is no longer the case, mainly due to support for Android apps and Linux programs.
General characteristics of the operating system
The design of the Chromebook is simple and inexpensive, although there are also high-end models. If you want to use your laptop to surf the web, watch videos, play Android games, and use the same apps as on your phone, then Chrome OS devices are definitely your choice.
However, if you are a more advanced user and want to play popular AAA games and use software like Photoshop, more traditional Windows and macOS devices are better suited for your needs. Although you can also download software like Photoshop from the Play Store, the Android version is much less functional than the Windows version.
This is just a general guide on who is suitable for a Chromebook and who is not suitable for a Chromebook. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please review the top Chrome OS pros and cons below, which will help you determine if a Chromebook is right for you.
Advantage of Chrome OS
- Simplicity: The whole purpose of Chrome OS is to simplify. Chromebook is very easy to use, anyone can use it. It can work quickly and start up in seconds.
- Economic: Chromebook is designed for simple tasks like browsing the web and running Android apps, so it doesn’t require high-end hardware. Chrome OS devices are generally cheaper than Windows and macOS devices, although some expensive high-end models are also available.
- Android and Linux application compatibility: Chromebooks released in recent years support running Android and Linux apps, making them more useful than before.
- Security: Due to its unique but secure mechanism, Chrome OS is much more secure than Windows laptops. In addition, it also provides frequent and automatic silent updates to Chrome OS and built-in virus protection.
- Cloud-based: Chrome OS is designed to be cloud-based as much as possible. You can use all Google services, including Google Docs to create documents, Drive to store files and photos of all images. This means that no matter where you are, you can access all these files and documents over the network. You can also ensure that even if your Chromebook is lost, stolen, or damaged, you won’t lose files.
- Weight: Chrome OS-based devices generally don’t have large hard drives or other high-end specs, which means they’re lighter than most laptops, making them great to carry.
- Energy consumption: Since Chrome OS is a simple operating system, the battery life of a Chromebook is usually very long.
Disadvantages of Chrome OS
- Software compatibility: We have already mentioned this, but as is evident the greatest deficiency of Chrome OS. You cannot use the full version of Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and other large desktop programs on your Chromebook. You can only use services that run in a browser or software in the form of Android and Linux applications. For example, you can download Microsoft Word from the Play Store, but you can’t get all the features you’re used to on Windows machines.
- Not suitable for large games: you can play games on a Chromebook, but only those available on the Play Store. Since they are not compatible with AAA games, you cannot play these games on Chrome OS devices.
- Reduced internal storage space: Because they are cloud-based, the local storage space you get on a Chromebook is typically smaller than on a Windows laptop, and lower-end devices are typically 64GB. This isn’t a huge downside because you don’t need a lot of local storage space, but it’s worth mentioning.
- Offline mode: Chrome OS is most efficient when it can access the internet. You can use it in offline mode, but the experience is not always the best. Some apps will not be available and some have limited functionality in offline mode.