Top 5 features we want on Chromebook machines!
This feature article was inspired by the community, by those features (or their lack, thereof!) that we all miss in our Chromebooks; Chromebook users, aficionados, those who want to try the system but haven’t already because they’re waiting for a certain feature (and Mac users in disguise!) have all chipped in online so, we thought we’d aggregate all that into this blog post.
We also want to ask you too, if you’d like, to contribute to the Google Plus page (that prompted us to write this article!) or leave a wish in our own comments section below; whichever you prefer.
Better video editing capability
We can already edit images on a Chromebook. But video is a whole different story. Indeed, video editing is a sorely needed feature, a fully fledged software suite, one that could at least compare to a lite version of Pinnacle Studio or Adobe Premiere Elements. The video editing arsenal is improving. For now, can make use of a bit of a cool online video creation platform called WeVideo and a few other video productivity suites.
Also, true machine based video editing would require tenfold more powerful machines which would go against the grain of the current Chromebook machines lineup. With the cloud capable of acting like a video rendering/editing farm and a Chromebook as a thin client, it sure could be done… On the condition that there are enough users to make it feasible for such a feature to become available.
Chromebooks with better displays and better Google Drive integration
The truth is that, both in terms of displays as well as the cloud, things could be lots smoother and user focused, better organized and improved. Without the intention of being snide, I would also try to comment on my own experience with The Drive, which I found to grow on me as I kept using it. Basically, Google Drive asks you to think a little different than how you’d think if you were using local hardware resources on your machine, for storage and so on. But ultimately, it grows on you, and Google’s interfacing becomes a bit of a second nature, with enough use.
But, definitely, there is space for improvement… Better screens are also on the radar, and have been quite for a while. Gone are the days when a Chromebook was only about underpowered, not that high quality displays; considering only a few newer entrants in the Chromebook hardware world, the HP Chromebook 11 and 14, and the Acer C 720 and 720P with touch screen. All four of them feature better than average (quite good, actually) screens and great prices. And don’t forget the newly presented and already award winning Toshiba Chromebook. It’s clear to see that Chromebook is becoming the new standard in terms of screen quality and also, down to earth pricing.
Should we desire that Chromebooks ran .exe files?
Well, granted, that would make a Chromebook into a more versatile machine; if that ever was a high point in Google’s book (sic!), or granted, if legally that was even possible, though the amount of infringement of Microsoft (or others!) patents would be unending, But how about Chrome specific applications, standalone installables outside the confines of the web? This might be a great addition for some, since it is already possible (and plausible) in the more or less functional offline mode that some apps have; I do think that developing hardware installed applications might be a branch of development for Google to truly consider, especially if they want to attract power users, those who require some form of non cloud, competitive productivity suites.
Longer battery lives!
Let’s not forget, all manner of gadgetry, laptops and netbooks, slates and smartphones and everything in between could do with this one! However, to give the Caesar what is rightfully his, I’ll also add that Chromebooks are already some of the better laptops/netbooks out there, in terms of battery life. Partly because, well, we rarely have the chance to put them to their paces, but also because reputable name brands do pack them with batteries that will last the 6 to 7 hours that have come to be known as the “all day’ battery life cycle. Surely, though, some of the developers give up on packing their Chromebooks with heftier cells to keep prices down, which I think, may make more sense for some of the budget oriented users. Though surely, the Chromebook in many of its iterations, is one of the better battery life alternatives out there.
And finally, our own Chromebook hardware (secret!) wish…
Android Apps support or integration on the Chromebook
Why? Well, that would extend the usability of the OS, as the Android environment is ripe(r) with apps, more developers and lots of cool, single purpose apps, the kind that do one thing but do it very well. It’s also, I think an arbitrary decision or, rather, a politics infused decision from Google’s part not to standardize these two OS environments, which lends itself to a longer discussion about platform hedging and the future of these two OSes as platforms, Chrome and Android.
Nonetheless, I’d also like to know what Chromebook features you desire, from a software or hardware point of view, so let us know, in the comments below…