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ASUS Chromebit packs Chrome OS into an HDMI dongle

ASUS Chromebit packs Chrome OS into an HDMI dongle

The Chromecast has now got a big brother, the ASUS Chromebit, packing a full Chromebook into an HDMI dongle that can turn any display into a Chrome OS computer. Plugging straight into a spare HDMI port, and running exactly the same Chrome OS software as any other Chrome machine, the stick marks a further expansion in form-factors for the platform, which began with straightforward notebooks but has since progressed to desktops, all-in-ones, and convertible tablets. It's also promising to be one of the most inexpensive ways to play with Google's web-centric software.

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Chrome OS blurs lines as Android app porting opens to all

Chrome OS blurs lines as Android app porting opens to all

Google is upgrading Chrome OS to better suit touchscreens and convertibles, as well as throwing open the doors to Android developers wanting their apps to run on Chromebooks. The new version, Chrome OS v.42, is currently in beta, with the most noticeable change being a revamped launcher that integrates Google Now. Promising faster access not only to your most frequently-used apps courtesy of a new shortcut row, the new launcher also includes all the same proactive prompts that you can get on Android phones and Android Wear smartwatches. That's not the only sign of the gap narrowing between Android and Chrome OS, however.

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Hail the $149 Chromebook: Haier and Hisense go cheap

Hail the $149 Chromebook: Haier and Hisense go cheap

Chrome OS has arguably always been best at its very cheapest, and now Hisense and Haier are looking to drive the cost of cloud-centric computing even lower, with a pair of $149 Chromebooks. Targeting not only budget-conscious families, schools, and businesses, but developing markets keen to get online, the two laptops each run Chrome OS on Rockchip's 3288 quadcore chipset. And, while they may be a world away from the Pixel in price, Google insists the recently-updated premium Chromebook had a hand in the design of the budget duo.

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ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

We've had cheap and cheerful Chromebooks, and expensive, high-end flagships like Pixel, but ASUS has finally delivered a premium-feeling Chrome OS convertible at a price you'll do a double-take at. Intended to raise the stakes for Windows notebooks, not to mention undercut more than a few tablets, the ASUS Chromebook Flip manages to deliver a Full HD IPS touchscreen, a convertible hinge, and fully metal construction for just $249.

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Pacman Google Maps brings April Fools’ one day early

Pacman Google Maps brings April Fools’ one day early

Prepare yourself for the incoming wave of April Fools jokes, pranks, and otherwise happy-go-lucky oddities like Pacman for Google Maps. Today Google begins early with this game that rests in one of their most popular products. Here you'll be able to play Pacman on a map of whatever city you happen to be in - just so long as it has roads. Head to Google Maps and you'll find yourself a Pacman button in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. You'll need to be on a desktop machine for this to work - for now.

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Gmail unified inbox puts all your mail in one place

Gmail unified inbox puts all your mail in one place

There's an update to Gmail this week that will allow you - on your mobile device - to push all your email into one, single inbox. This is not the "Inbox" app, nor is it a destruction of the separate email boxes like Social, Promotions, and Updates. Instead, it's a central place where you can get email from all of your different accounts, be they all Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or whatever you happen to be using. All in one, single Inbox, that'll forever overflow for the rest of time.

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Google Drive now backs up photos, videos automatically

Google Drive now backs up photos, videos automatically

Many of us have photos and video spread all over the web and across devices. Depending on how you’ve got your cloud storage set up, it’s not likely you've got all your media in one centralized location. Today, Google is taking steps to solve that for us. In Drive, you’ll soon see a new “Google Photos” menu option, which brings all your photo and video storage to a more convenient location. This move was rumored earlier this month, though it’s not exactly what sources claimed Google may end up doing.

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The HTC One E9 Plus detailed: HTC’s first 2K display

The HTC One E9 Plus detailed: HTC’s first 2K display

This morning HTC China has released full details on the HTC One E9 Plus (aka E9 +), a device which may well be released worldwide. This device takes on the legacy of larger HTC Android devices and adds a dash of the successful standard headliner HTC One. This device is coming with a 5.5-inch Ultra High Definition 2K display, a big fat camera on the back, and newly minted Dolby Audio HTC BoomSound speakers up front. This device is available now in China and will likely be released internationally soon.

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It’s Chrome OS’ turn for the Google Now upgrade

It’s Chrome OS’ turn for the Google Now upgrade

Google has been increasingly pushing its Google Now virtual assistant and its "cards" convention across its different services and apps. The last one to get card-y was YouTube, where the cards will replace the older popups that relay additional information about videos. Now Google is teasing the next product to get a Google Now makeover, one that is probably long overdue anyway. The beta channel of its Chrome operating system has just gotten a new "Chrome Launcher 2.0", and the most outstanding feature is the presence of Google Now.

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Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Weaponized GIFs are apparently the new way to make serious points more flippant online, with Google smacking back at News Corp. criticism that the search giant had made a habit of hanging around the White House. Google had been accused of chasing undue political influence, with the News Corp. owned Wall Street Journal suggesting it was sneaky maneuvering that saw Google escape FTC censure over activities contrary to the public interest. Key to the accusations was a count of the number of times Google had visited senior officials since President Obama took office.

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