What you need to know
- Google launches ChromeOS.dev, a developer portal aimed at providing support and resources for people looking to build apps for Chrome OS.
- Newer Chrome OS additions like an improved Linux terminal and Android Studio support are part of Google's ongoing developer story.
- The company also announced that Chromebook sales had outpaced the wider laptop market with over 127% YoY growth compared to 40% for rivals.
Chrome OS is Google's jack-of-all-trades desktop operating system, and the company continues to push developers to build discrete experiences for the platform. To that end, Google launched ChromeOS.dev, a new web portal that will provide resources for Chrome OS developers on their journey.
Explaining the motive behind the portal, Google's Iein Valdez, head of Chrome OS developer relations, said the portal was intended to equip developers "with the right tools, resources, and best practices."
Developers will find "the latest news, product announcements, technical documentation, and code samples from popular apps" on the portal. Google has also uploaded resources and UX guidelines for building a quality Chrome OS app using Android apps as a base.
Valdez highlighted recent moves made by the Chrome OS team towards building a more developer-friendly platform. The Linux terminal, for instance, now feels more native on Chromebooks with integrated tab support and keyboard shortcuts, Google also added theming options. Developers are also now able to build Android apps on Chromebooks and deploy and test them directly — setting them apart from competing devices like Android tablets or iPads.
Google also touted improved sales for Chrome OS devices, noting the Chromebooks had outpaced Windows and macOS laptops in terms of sales velocity in the period between March and June 2020. Chromebooks are some of the best laptops for kids and students, with the COVID-19 lockdowns in that period, it seems natural that people would head out to buy home working supplies.
Chrome OS is currently on version 84 for the mainstream stable channel, with Google testing more features for future releases including improvements to accessibility, a more powerful lockscreen, and Windows app compatibility.