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30 Apr 12 Dude, where’d my browser go? ChromeOS desktop on Cr-48

I was intrigued by news items related to the appearance of a desktop behind the Chrome browser in Chrome OS, but for the past few weeks it seemed like only those with the latest hardware would be enjoying it.   No longer.  Today’s update brought that change to those of using Cr-48 hardware, a.k.a. Mario.

Dude, where's my browser window?

Chrome OS has assimilated the desktop metaphor

My new desktop features a default screen background with a suspension bridge and stunningly beautiful tidal channel with a very low sun angle.  The Google Chrome browser will maximize and restore with double-clicks along its the upper edge.  System notifiers like time/date, network connection strength, battery charge icon, and user account avatar thumb are now parked at the far lower-right corner of the screen, which means that they will get covered up by the browser when it is maximized.  All those icons that were large on the New Tab screen now show up in as thin ribbon of icons along the bottom—certainly reminiscent of NeXTSTEP screen layout in color from 20 years ago!

On the Cr-48 now:
Google Chrome  20.0.1105.0
Chrome OS  2153.0.0
WebKit  536.8  (@114338)
V8   3.10.2.1

There is a minor annoyance where an About > Chrome OS leads to a two-minute cycle of “updating Chrome OS” stuck at 0%, and ending with a “Chrome OS is up to date”.   I can live with that for now, as it’s just a treat to see such a big change to the feel of Chrome OS.  This surely is the biggest modification to the interface that I’ve seen over the past 15 months!

In other versions, on my Windows machines (XP and Windows 7)
Google Chrome Canary  20.0.1122.0

on Ubuntu (12.04 LTS x86_64)
Google Chrome   20.0.1105.0

On mobile, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) (IMM76D)
Google Chrome  18.4409.2396
Web Kit  535.19 (@108031)
V8  3.8.9.15

Android  3.2   (Honeycomb)  Google TVs
Google Chrome  11.0

So there have been updates to Ubuntu (which choked on grub and had to get a new partition—seems like that happens every two years or four upgrades), and Google Chrome version 20 is getting everywhere on desktops and laptops.

All my Google accounts have received their Google Drive conversion, although I haven’t realized any profound changes versus the way that I was using Google Docs before; there’s a new icon, to keep up with the rebranding of Android Market as Google Play.

Maybe that is enough for now; time to get back to work.  It’s a College day for me.

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