Android Apps on Chrome OS

I’m going to talk about Chrome OS, Android, and Chromebooks today. Chrome OS is Linux at its core, as is Android, so they’re relevant to other things I discuss on Linux Critic, but I also use both of those platforms on a daily basis, and they’re technology, so they’re relevant anyway.

I have a 2015 Chromebook Pixel that I bought almost a year ago. It isn’t my first Chromebook (in my opinion nobody should pay this much for a Chromebook if it’s their first experience with Chrome OS as a platform — it isn’t for everyone), so I was already well acquainted with its strengths and limitations.

With regard to updates, I have my Pixel in the “Beta Channel”. It’s the best of both worlds for me; I get to see newer features sooner, but not so soon that the device is constantly crashing (like what my experiences in the Developer Channel demonstrated).

Recently, due to my participation in the Beta Channel with one of the slated devices, I received the long-awaited update that allowed Google Play Apps (a.k.a., Android apps) on Chrome OS. I’ve had this on my Pixel for a little over a week now, and I decided to share my thoughts on the experience.

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Google Music: Music in the cloud

Back in early June of this year, most likely scrambling to steal some of the thunder from Apple’s musical cloud offering announcement, Google had announced their own cloud-centric approach to music, which they simply called Google Music.

At the time, considering that there was no Linux client, an only barely-functional interface and muddy limitations on the framework they’d hastily set up, it was clear that this was premature. Appropriately, given the look of it, I had dismissed Google Music out of hand as a non-item.

However, in the intervening weeks, something happened. It got better.

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Peppermint Two: Faster, slicker, and easier than ever

It’s been a little over a year since I reviewed the first Peppermint OS, and while I liked the first effort on this new project, I’ve been really looking forward to Peppermint Two. Well, my wait was over as of last week, so I was able to kick the tires and get a good feel for it after installing and using it for a few days.

And it didn’t disappoint!

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Midori 0.2.6: Simple, lightweight, but still needs work

In my ongoing search for something with which to tinker, I’ve occasionally run across the Midori browser, a fully GTK+2 integrated, WebKit-based browser with a focus on being lightweight and simple.

It had been a while since I gave Midori a try, so I thought that since they had released a few updated versions since my last look, I’d install it and give it a new look, because it seemed to have some promise the last time.

I did most of my testing on my 64-bit Mint 9 laptop, and I installed Midori 0.2.6, which was the version in the repositories. I used it for a week as my primary browser, only resorting to Firefox when I had to do something that I couldn’t get to work in Midori, which is my usual approach to evaluating browsers.

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Clementine 0.4: Amarok 1.4 reborn!

I’ve lamented since last year that KDE’s radical change in direction left me — and a lot of others — going on an app-hunt. I’m really not a fan of the new Amarok, and I’ve been as yet unsuccessful in finding something to replace my beloved Amarok 1.4, even resorting to procedures like this one to install the old version.

Such procedures make a good stopgap for the time being, but sooner or later, that old thing will simply not work anymore. Once a program falls out of development, the clock is ticking on it remaining useful, and at that point, you have to face reality and find something with which to replace it.

Fortunately, I’m not the only Amarok 1.4 lover out there. It’s been forked, and the new version is called Clementine.

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Thoughts on Google Chrome (stable) for Linux

As many of you are already aware, Google Chrome stable was released for the Linux platform on May 25th.

Google Chrome has been one of the fastest growing browsers, and a stable release for Linux has been a long time coming. I’ve played around with beta releases and found them so unstable as to be unusable as recently as just a few months ago, so needless to say, I was pretty interested in seeing what a release for Linux marked “stable” was like.

I’ve been using it as my primary browser since May 25th, so I decided I’d do a brief writeup of what I think of the experience so far.

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