How to create taskbar apps from websites in Google Chrome OS?

Good news… Google Chrome OS developers are finally adding this ability to Chrome OS. Until now, a website needed to have an app on Chrome Web Store to offer the ability to become a bookmark on the Chrome OS taskbar.

The latest Chrome OS dev builds now allow you to make taskbar apps out of any website. Googler François Beaufort said:

The new system to create Bookmarks Apps is now enabled by default in Chrome OS Dev Channel. It allows you to “Add to shelf / dock / taskbar / desktop” your favorite website URLs directly from the Chrome menu “More Tools”. You can choose if you want to open it as window or tab and it will always have a charming icon.

François Beaufort – Google+

Google Chrome has offered this ability for a long time on other three platforms.

Google Chrome OS can now set system time based on your geolocation

Google Chrome OS is getting a new feature that would benefit users who travel around the world on a regular basis.

Instead of updating time zones manually, they can set their Chromebooks to automatically detect their location and update time.

This feature is already available on mobile devices where GPS is available. On Chrome OS, Google is likely relying upon other factors like wireless networks available in vicinity.

François Beaufort – Google+

Google Chrome OS getting proximity settings for smart lock feature

Google recently added a useful new feature to their Chrome OS platform. Users can now unlock their Chromebooks by bringing a configured Android device near to it. The idea is to allow users to unlock the devices as soon as they come close to the device.

Bluetooth has a long range so this caused fears that the feature eroded the security of Chromebooks in public spaces. Even at home your account could be accessed by others if you were in the vicinity of the device.

Google is now resolving these issues by adding a proximity setting feature. Users can now configure the feature to work only if the device is closer to the Chromebook. Here is how it works:

Here’s how it works for now. First, enable the experimental flag “Enable Smart Lock proximity detection” at chrome://flags/#enable-easy-unlock-proximity-detection. Then, restart your chromebook and access your Chrome Settings. Set up Smart Lock¹ if it’s not already done and see the checkbox there you can use to toggle the range between 30 feet (9m) and 1 foot (30cm).

François Beaufort – Google+

Google Chromebooks admins can now remotely disable (lost) devices

Google updated their Chrome OS Admin Console this week with a couple of new features. The most useful new feature is the ability to remotely disable Chrome OS devices that might have been stolen or lost. Google said:

Admins can now place lost or stolen devices in a disabled state and display a customer message on the disabled device screens.

Googler François Beaufort added:

Finally! Admins can now place lost or stolen Chrome OS devices in a disabled state right from their web-based management console and display a custom message on the disabled device screens.
When a device is disabled, all the user can see when turning on the Chrome device is a screen telling them that it’s been disabled, and your desired contact information of where to return the device as you can see below.

Deprovision and Disable Chrome devices – Chrome for Work and Education Help
Chrome Releases: Admin Console Update
Finally! Admins can now place lost or stolen Chrome OS devices in a disabled…

Your Android phone can now unlock your Google Chromebook for you now!

Google has rolled out a new update of Chrome OS that brings a very useful functionality to the Chromebooks.

If you have an Android device running Lollipop and a Chrome OS 40+ device with Bluetooth support, you can now unlock your account using your phone.

The two device would interact with each other using Bluetooth to verify your proximity and let you login without your password.

Google said:

You can use Smart Lock for Chrome with one Android phone, which must have a lock screen, be unlocked, and be within Bluetooth range.
Bluetooth range may be over 100 feet, so your phone may keep your Chromebook unlocked from over 100 feet away.
It’s recommended that you also set up Smart Lock for Android on the phone you want to use.

Unlock your Chromebook with your Android phone – Chromebook Help

Google Chrome OS expected to support password protected archives by month end

The patch has been submitted. It is in testing stages. Developers aim to have it in the beta build of Chrome by the end of January. This is great news for folks like me who have been tracking this bug for around two years now!

Issue 167686 – chromium – FR: Support password protected archive files (ZIP). – An open-source project to help move the web forward. – Google Project Hosting