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Many Chromebooks now run Android apps, so...

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#26 nicknacknock

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 08:50 AM

Yep. Basically you have Google Play store just like on an android phone. Installing apps however can be hit or miss as a lot of them are optimised for a portrait phone and therefore do not use the full real estate of a chromebook’s screen.

 

A ton of them do however and make using a Chromebook not feel like a ”cheap” experience. I set up mine again this morning and boy that thing is fast and classy (ASUS C302).


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#27 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:15 PM

Okay a couple days in now experimenting with Android on Chrome OS, and so far only one major "miss" that prevents a Chromebook from making an Android tablet redundant for Android apps and features - failure to recognize add-in (microSD card) storage as additional device storage.  You can neither install apps to it (not new; Android 6 and 7 curtailed removable storage app installation for security reasons) nor direct Android apps to store their content there (something you are permitted to do on an Android phone or tablet with add-in storage; and it's a HUGE benefit enabling offline viewing of large music and/or video collections).

 

I'm going to see if I can find a developer page for Chrome OS and ask whether it would be possible for treat Chromebook add-in storage exactly as Android device add-in storage is treated.  At any point in time I have like 50 GB of music and videos on my phone, on an add-in card.  Given that Chromebooks presume cloud storage and rarely come with more than a small 32 GB of device storage, using a Chromebook as a music and video library for example (it would look classy attached to a big screen TV or high end DAC amplifier and speaker set) is pretty much a non-starter.

 

On the other hand, so long as you don't mind adding red film to the screen rather than relying on SS night mode, SS5 Pro on the Chromebook using the stylus is sublime and intuitive; better even than fingers on the touchscreen as the stylus is much more precise.  Much easier to pick a target from a crowded field without zooming in to create space between targets.

 

Best,

 

Jim


Edited by jrbarnett, 26 November 2017 - 03:19 PM.

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#28 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:16 PM

Yep. Basically you have Google Play store just like on an android phone. Installing apps however can be hit or miss as a lot of them are optimised for a portrait phone and therefore do not use the full real estate of a chromebook’s screen.

 

A ton of them do however and make using a Chromebook not feel like a ”cheap” experience. I set up mine again this morning and boy that thing is fast and classy (ASUS C302).

That C302 looks gorgeous, Nick.  Really sturdy.

 

Best,

 

Jim



#29 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 04:41 PM

I also thought I'd share a few benchmark comparisons.

 

One Geekbench 4 for Android CPU performance the OP1 ARM processor in the Samsung Chromebook Plus compares to a 2015 flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 5.

 

On the Compute performance benchmark, the device is roughly twice as fast on Android as the Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet and about the same as last year's Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S7.

 

In other words, this Rockchip ARM processor optimized for Android on Chrome in collaboration with Google, screams on Android benchmarks.  To put it in context, this $350 device is much, much faster on Android than any mid-range current 2017 Android phone (Moto G5S, etc.).

 

Geekbench also reports the Android version running on the device as Android 7.1.1, which is just one minor release shy of the latest 7.1.2.  Impressively current and seemingly future proof 12.3" high resolution Android device.

 

Now I'll install and run 3Dmark for some graphics/gaming insight.

 

Best,

 

Jim  


Edited by jrbarnett, 26 November 2017 - 04:45 PM.

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#30 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 05:05 PM

Okay, 3DMark for Android using the Slingshot Extreme benchmark, the Chromebook Plus is comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (last gen top of the line Samsung tablet) and the LG G4 phone (a 2 generation old LG flagship phone).

 

Not super impressive on 3D gaming loads, but that's kind of what I expect from ARM integrated graphics in general.  On 2D graphics, it's speedy-quick.

 

Cooling is awesome.  The CPU temperature barely budged and the bottom of the device barely got warm during the benchmark.  Most phones, in contrast, get quite warm.  The larger cabinet and bigger heatsink it allows works brilliantly.

 

Best,

 

Jim


Edited by jrbarnett, 26 November 2017 - 05:08 PM.

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#31 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 06:22 PM

Thanks Jim!

Just make a note: it's RK3399 4GB/32GB.



#32 jrbarnett

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 08:31 PM

The answer to "will my Android apps on my Chromebook ever be able to write to removable storage?" is - they're working on it and many of the developers perceive this to be a feature of critical importance (in fact it's the only thing close to causing me to have reservations recommending a chromebook for Android.

 

https://bugs.chromiu...il?id=660189#c6

 

Best,

 

Jim



#33 nicknacknock

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 01:16 AM

 

Yep. Basically you have Google Play store just like on an android phone. Installing apps however can be hit or miss as a lot of them are optimised for a portrait phone and therefore do not use the full real estate of a chromebook’s screen.

 

A ton of them do however and make using a Chromebook not feel like a ”cheap” experience. I set up mine again this morning and boy that thing is fast and classy (ASUS C302).

That C302 looks gorgeous, Nick.  Really sturdy.

 

Best,

 

Jim

 

Jim,

 

More or less like a Mac Book Air (had one of those for a while too), but of course with a different operating system. I will try to edit some RAW photos on it and if I can get what I want out of it, I will scrap my rarely used Windows PC at home. 
 

I only use DSLR for a bit of lunar or solar (e.g. for eclipses) so if I can make my mosaics on the Chromebook (something like the below), it will seal the deal for me. When external storage becomes available for android apps, then it will be a perfect little machine...

 

Mosaic Lunar Eclipse 28.10.2015


#34 jrbarnett

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 11:26 AM

 

 

Yep. Basically you have Google Play store just like on an android phone. Installing apps however can be hit or miss as a lot of them are optimised for a portrait phone and therefore do not use the full real estate of a chromebook’s screen.

 

A ton of them do however and make using a Chromebook not feel like a ”cheap” experience. I set up mine again this morning and boy that thing is fast and classy (ASUS C302).

That C302 looks gorgeous, Nick.  Really sturdy.

 

Best,

 

Jim

 

Jim,

 

More or less like a Mac Book Air (had one of those for a while too), but of course with a different operating system. I will try to edit some RAW photos on it and if I can get what I want out of it, I will scrap my rarely used Windows PC at home. 
 

I only use DSLR for a bit of lunar or solar (e.g. for eclipses) so if I can make my mosaics on the Chromebook (something like the below), it will seal the deal for me. When external storage becomes available for android apps, then it will be a perfect little machine...

 

 

One cool data point - my Chromebook, padded carrying case, charger and adapters weigh considerably less than my bare MacBook Pro 13".  What a joy for travel, provided that I either have wi-fi access or plan on using offline apps and content stored on the device.

 

I hope they get the read/write access problem for removable storage solved soon.  That will make the Chromebook (for my needs) an effective Windows/OS X laptop replacement.  I'm installing Skype, Office 365, Zoom and my Brit Telecom client (Android versions) this morning to see how it is to work on the Chromebook.

 

Best,

 

Jim 



#35 nicknacknock

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 12:21 PM

Jim,

 

Lovely little machines. Sometimes the iPad proves woefully insufficient for some tasks and the Chromebook then excels. A list of apps to try:

 

In the files system, select “add new service” and then Dropbox from the App Store. It allows linking of Dropbox as a file system manager. Doesn’t download stuff, but it maps it as a network drive and you can interact with the files.

 

File Manager + which acts as a file manager and connects to cloud storage as well.

 

VLC player for movies

 

Loghtroom CC, HDR Max, Snapseed, Photoshop,Fotor, PicsArt and Polar for full screen image editing and Quik for video editing

 

Dropbox, TeamViewer, Unclouded (connect all local and cloud storage services under one roof).

 

Do post if you find any interesting apps that extend to full screen. It’s trial and error to discover which ones do that, but all of the above will use all your screen’s real estate!



#36 jrbarnett

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:06 PM

Jim,

 

Lovely little machines. Sometimes the iPad proves woefully insufficient for some tasks and the Chromebook then excels. A list of apps to try:

 

In the files system, select “add new service” and then Dropbox from the App Store. It allows linking of Dropbox as a file system manager. Doesn’t download stuff, but it maps it as a network drive and you can interact with the files.

 

File Manager + which acts as a file manager and connects to cloud storage as well.

 

VLC player for movies

 

Loghtroom CC, HDR Max, Snapseed, Photoshop,Fotor, PicsArt and Polar for full screen image editing and Quik for video editing

 

Dropbox, TeamViewer, Unclouded (connect all local and cloud storage services under one roof).

 

Do post if you find any interesting apps that extend to full screen. It’s trial and error to discover which ones do that, but all of the above will use all your screen’s real estate!

Hi Nick.  So far *every* app I've run on the Chromebook has re-sized for the bigger screen - in each case it initially loads as a phone-sized app view, and then when I click the "full screen" box in-app, it says it needs to restart the app, does so, and when it restarts the app fills the 12.3" screen.  Granted thus far other than SS5 Pro I've tried games mostly, but in that context I've been pleasantly surprised.

 

One other pleasant surprise is battery life unplugged an inactive.  Mine has been in its case for two days, unplugged and like a phone but very much NOT like a Windows or Max OS PC, the battery reported at 100% when I booted up.

 

Best,

 

Jim


Edited by jrbarnett, 28 November 2017 - 10:19 PM.


#37 nicknacknock

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 05:29 AM

Jim,

 

Games usually run also in landscape to support android tablets, so I am not surprised. Playing War Robots on mine and it's nice to have the big screen.

 

Yep, battery life is a huge plus!



#38 karstenkoch

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 12:42 PM

I recently got an Asus Chromebook 14 for $200 at Costco for my daughter to use for school. When I brought it home, I realized that it could run Android apps, too. So I rushed (watchout! gimmethat! ... hehe) to login to my own account and install my old copy of SS4Plus that I haven't been using since moving to an iPhone from Android. (I've been using SS5Pro on the iPhone.) What a surprise to see how well SS4Plus worked on the Chromebook!! Everything I tried to do seemed to work great. I debated buying SS5Pro for the Chromebook, but stopped. I already use it on my iPhone 7 and MacOS, so SS4Plus is fine on the Chromebook ... especially since our Chromebook lacks a touchscreen, which makes it unlikely I'll take it outside at night to use at the scope.



#39 Sean Wood

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 12:57 PM

My Asus c300 got the ability to run android apps a few months back and SS5 pro runs fine but the multitouch zoom function doesn't work on the trackpad, on my Chromebook at least. I have to use the on screen zoom buttons. This is terribly frustrating. Can any of you comment as to if the touch screen chromebook models allow for pinch to zoom like on a tablet? Or has anyone found a keyboard shortcut that will allow you to zoom in and out?

 

I can't see myself using this in the field but as ar as creating observation lists and familiarizing yourself with you target location this is definitely a boon for planning your night. If you do make your lists make sure you're using the google drive cloud storage option in the settings and allow your other devices time to sync the new lists.



#40 mclewis1

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 07:06 PM

My Chromebook is an HP 14 smb ... no plans for Android capability ... mad.gif



#41 halx

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:17 PM

Sorry, but imo, getting anything above 7" running Android is defying its purpose to be an always at hand (in the pocket) single-handed use personal assistant.

Nowadays you can get a great laptop or tablet with Windows/Linux/OSX which will beat any Android/Chromebook with the number of high quality apps which would beat any astronomy app ever developed for Android so far. Money savings? Miniscule compared to what you are loosing in specialized performance getting an oversized subpar laptop such as a Chromebook. Same goes for the Android / iOS tablets. Need a large screen - get a laptop/tablet with a normal OS and normal ports, don't waste money and your time finding working apps!


Edited by halx, 08 December 2017 - 06:21 PM.


#42 mclewis1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 05:08 PM

Extra value ... 

- better battery life than "regular" laptops

- more stable OS, no intrusive OS updates

- inexpensive stylus pointer capable (this really improves the user experience on some apps)

 

The point of this thread appears to be the proof that newer Chromebooks can now offers some folks an alternative. They aren't going to supplant the whole world of laptops running Win or MacOS or Linux but clearly with the Android compatibility and a few of the more popular apps they do appear to be a viable alternative for some folks to explore.

 

I sure wouldn't suggest that just anyone looking at SkySafari for example run out and buy a Chromebook to run it on but a) it's something to try if you already have a Chromebook and b) it should be something to at least look at if your software requirements are simple and you are interested in running Android based apps out at the scope on a larger screen than a phone or basic tablet.


Edited by mclewis1, 09 December 2017 - 08:14 PM.

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#43 halx

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:53 PM

Extra value ... 

- better battery life than "regular" laptops

- more stable OS, no intrusive OS updates

- inexpensive stylus pointer capable (this really improves the user experience on some apps)

- Battery time is very comparable. Like 8 hours vs 10 hours.

- OS stability depends on the apps. My old ($500, Windows 8.1 -> 10) Lenovo S41  laptop (started as my  Android apps development workstation, but now used for everything from 3D Printing to family grab-and-Internet couch browser is rock stable. Much more stable than any of my 5 Top of the line Android devices and than the latest MacBook Pro 17.
- 3 out of 5 of my android devices have the Wacom stylus (I don't buy Androids without it anymore). Only Microsoft Surface and Wacom Tablets could compete with Samsung Androids in stylus performance. Chromebook stylus is laughable in comparison! (except Samsungs, I guess, never tried myself but saw plenty of videos). Really need a real stylus? Get Samsung, Surface, or Wacom.

 

Sure, I have no problems with people trying to repurpose their "lap-browsers", just a note to those considering a Chromebook. It's a marketing gag (imnsho).


Edited by halx, 10 December 2017 - 02:11 PM.


#44 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 01:15 PM

Sure, I have no problems with people trying to repurpose their "lap-browsers", just a note to those considering a Chromebook. It's a marketing gag (imnsho).

 

 

I have exactly zero use for a Windows laptop but a ChromeBook with a touch screen and a decent keyboard could be very useful when I'm at our second home in the high desert.  Currently I do everything with my smartphone and an android tablet but the chromebook would make it all easier. Bigger screen with a better keyboard..  My old eyes and fat fingers like that idea. 

 

One beauty of Android is the play store.  One place to buy all my apps.  With Windows, its a nightmare and downloading a program from the net is likely to cause issues with the computer if I push the wrong button. 

 

I want to thank Jim for bringing this to my attention.. :waytogo:

 

Jon


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#45 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 06:20 AM

 

Sure, I have no problems with people trying to repurpose their "lap-browsers", just a note to those considering a Chromebook. It's a marketing gag (imnsho).

 

 

I have exactly zero use for a Windows laptop but a ChromeBook with a touch screen and a decent keyboard could be very useful when I'm at our second home in the high desert.  Currently I do everything with my smartphone and an android tablet but the chromebook would make it all easier. Bigger screen with a better keyboard..  My old eyes and fat fingers like that idea. 

 

One beauty of Android is the play store.  One place to buy all my apps.  With Windows, its a nightmare and downloading a program from the net is likely to cause issues with the computer if I push the wrong button. 

 

I want to thank Jim for bringing this to my attention.. waytogo.gif

 

Jon

 

 

Might as well update this...

 

Due to an unexpected stroke of luck (thank's Nick), a Asus C302C showed up at my door.  I have had a few days to play around with this flip Chromebook and I have to say the thing is totally awesome.  For someone like myself, it should be able to replace a Windows laptop.  Running the same apps as my phone and tablet is nice, these days I do very little that requires serious computing though in fact, the Chrome book probably has more zoot under the hood than my current desktop.. 

 

Jon

 

https://www.asus.com...ok-Flip-C302CA/


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#46 lphilpot

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:39 AM

That's a really cool looking piece of hardware, and I've been pleased with the ASUS brand in the past. Too bad it can't (?) run Linux, but Android is nice. I can understand why it's totally sufficient for many folks, but I'd hate to be limited to basically a browser (if not for Android). Great Milky Way shot on the website, too!  :D


Edited by lphilpot, 06 January 2018 - 11:40 AM.

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#47 Sean Wood

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

You can dual boot Linux on your Chromebook. There are some caveats though. do a google search. LOTS of tutorials.


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#48 halx

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 06:24 PM

For the same $500 as that ASUS chromebook you can get a decent Windows laptop capable of running any OS in the VM without any caveats.



#49 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:15 PM

For the same $500 as that ASUS chromebook you can get a decent Windows laptop capable of running any OS in the VM without any caveats.

I see. 

 

Would that be a lap top that had a touch screen and could be used in the tablet mode?  

 

So I could run pure Android without all the hassle and difficulties of Windows?  I could boot directly to Android and I would never have to concern myself with Windows updates etc? And I could go directly to the Playstore and download apps immediately the same way I did with the Chromebook?  No hassle, no setup... 

 

I guess I have not seen that Windows lap top yet..  My experience is that the more recent versions of Windows won't even run the legacy Windows programs I would like to run...    

 

Jon


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#50 halx

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 06:02 PM

Who needs Android/Chromium apps when there are plenty of Linux/Windows/iOS apps which perform much better, have much more features, and can run in parallel?

 

(Hint: people willing to sacrifice some performance / versatility for handheld / pocketable autonomous solutions; if you can't have your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) accessible any moment you might need it away from the couch - it's a waste). 


Edited by halx, 07 January 2018 - 06:29 PM.



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