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Tip: Onscreen Map for All ChromeOS Keyboard Shortcuts

Like any operating system, ChromeOS contains specific keyboard combinations to enable shortcuts to certain operations. In ChromeOS, these keyboard shortcuts are always available to review. To view the keyboard shortcuts, just type the following in the Chrome web browser: chrome://keyboardoverlay/ With the keyboard overlay on the screen, hit the Ctrl, Shift, or Alt keys (or a combination of the three) and the shortcut combinations will display onscreen.

Tip: Sideloading Fire TV Apps Directly from a Chromebook

Getting Android apps installed on your Fire TV device is usually a convoluted process. It usually requires you to install a download app on the Fire TV device and then know the full URL to the Android app’s apk. With the ability for ChromeOS devices to install and load Android apps, the process for sideloading Fire TV apps becomes a lot easier. Essentially, any Android app that you can install on the ChromeOS device can be used to install on the Fire TV device. Not everything will work there, of course, but for apps like the Spectrum TV app, it’s an easy way to get it there. Incidentally, Spectrum has been horribly slow at developing a supported app for Fire TV, however, except for a few minor screen issues, it works fine. The app to install on your ChromeOS device is Apps2Fire...

Tip: Dark Reading Mode for ChromeOS

There’s been talk over the past few days about a new “dark mode” that is coming for the Chrome web browser – which ultimately would also be made available for ChromeOS. However, if you really want to enable dark mode now, you can do so with a very robust, very feature-rich Web Store extension. Get it: Dark Reader Dark Reader generates dark mode for websites on the fly and does a very good job at it. It’s also customizable. You can adjust brightness, contrast, sepia filter, dark mode, font settings, and an ignore-list.  

Tip: Monitor Power and Configure Low Battery Alerts for ChromeOS

ChromeOS doesn’t yet provide the ability to customize battery percentage alerts, but should in a future release. However, if you would like to have this ability, download and install the Charge Status extension from the Chrome Web Store. Extension page: Charge Status After you install the extension it will take a bit, but after 10 seconds or so your initial battery charge status will display… You can also go to the Profile tab and customize your Low and Critical Alert Thresholds for which you’ll receive notifications. To access these pages later, just tap or click the Charge Status icon in the Chrome web browser Extensions list. For even deeper reporting on the Chromebook’s battery life, you can use the battery_test command in the ChromeOS Developer Shell. See: Tip:...

Tip: Accessing and Using the ChromeOS Developer Shell

If you’ve ever used a Windows PC, you’re probably familiar with the MS-DOS CMD window where you can manipulate files, traverse directories, and run special commands. Or, you might also be familiar with the PowerShell CMD window, where even more powerful Windows command-line wealth is available. Did you know that ChromeOS offers something similar? ChromeOS has the Chrome OS Developer Shell or CROSH. To access it, use the following key sequence on the Chromebook keyboard: Ctrl-Alt-T CROSH opens and runs in a Chrome web browser tab. There’s a stack of ready-made commands you can access in CROSH, containing things like battery status, free memory information, peer-to-peer update sharing, Wake-on-Lan configuration, etc. To find all the commands available to you and how to use ...

Tip: Tool to Remove Backgrounds in Images on ChromeOS

There are a number of options for working with images on ChromeOS. Some of those are actually Android apps installed from the Google Play Store. However, a recent entry may actually prove to be the best option for the most important reason of all – its automatic. The site is: The site isn’t a PWA, but you can still run it as an app on ChromeOS by using this tip: Turn Any Website into a PWA on ChromeOS Using the tool is easy. You simply upload the image to the site and presto-changeo, the background of the image is removed automatically. You can then save the prepared image (without the background) locally as a PNG file. Note that this only works on images that have people in them. This is a great tool to add to our growing list of graphics app favorites f...

Google Launches Chrome Canvas – a PWA for Quick Drawings and Sketches

Google today has launched a new Progressive Web App (PWA) called Chrome Canvas. Chrome Canvas is a web-based drawing tool, giving users the ability to make quick sketches and drawings using a small toolkit of pens, pencils, and erasers. Chrome Canvas: The tool is pretty basic, but according to rumors, Google may be developing this into a more feature rich artists tool. Your drawings are automatically saved and you can export any drawing as a PNG file. You can also open a local image file to draw or write on it. It works well with a finger, a mouse cursor, or a compatible stylus. You can access this on any ChromeOS device and through the Chrome browser, or install it as a PWA app. To install a PWA, once on a PWA-enabled website, just choose the “install” option o...

Tip: Using the Keyboard to Launch Shelf Apps in ChromeOS

Most ChromeOS users stick their most commonly accessed apps on the Shelf at the bottom of the screen. Did you know you can quickly launch any of these apps using the keyboard? Each app pinned to the Shelf is assigned a silent “number” – from left to right. For example, on the following Shelf, there are 14 pinned apps. The keyboard shortcut to launch an app is Alt-<number>. So, based on the image, if you wanted to launch Amazon Music, you’d press: Alt-4 But, there’s also a quirk (bug). If you have more than 9 pinned apps, ChromeOS works for the first 8, but then assigns the number ‘9’ to the very last app pinned on the Shelf. It essentially skips numbering apps beyond ‘9’. Its possible Google never envisioned anyone needing more th...

Tip: Previewing Files in ChromeOS

Being able to quickly preview files instead of opening them is a handy tool. For ChromeOS, this works just like it does on a Mac. To do it… Tap or click to highlight a file in the file system. Tap the spacebar.   When you do this, the preview of the file will display in an overlay and also show file details. This will work for any file type that ChromeOS supports.  

Tip: Best Sketching/Drawing App for ChromeOS

There are a few really nice Chromebooks that have full stylus support. Google’s premium-level Pixelbook is one. The Samsung Chromebook Pro Plus is another. When using the Google Keep app or Microsoft’s OneNote for notes, having a good stylus comes in handy. However, what if – as an artist or budding artist – you want a great sketching or drawing experience? There are many Android options in the Google Play store for those that own Chromebooks that have Android support, but clearly the best is a browser-based option, Sketchpad. Sketchpad: Sketchpad can be installed as a PWA, supports layers, a larger number of pencil options, and you can even turn on automatic save to Google Drive.      

Tip: Locating the Android Apps Designed to Work Best with ChromeOS

It’s awesome that Google enabled the ability for ChromeOS users to use Android apps on their devices. This opened up ChromeOS users to thousands of apps. However, not all Android apps work great, or display great, on a ChromeOS device. Most were designed to look great on a small, smartphone screen, making them a poor choice for the larger ChromeOS laptops, 2-in-1’s, and tablets. However, there is a growing number of good Android apps for ChromeOS. Many Android app developers are modifying their offerings to work better across device types, and that list is growing every day. So, then, how do you locate these ChromeOS compatible Android apps? A new website has been propped-up that attempts to solve the problem of locating ChromeOS compatible Android apps. Made for ChromeOS: http...

Tip: Hover to Show Windowed Previews of Running Apps on ChromeOS

For those coming from a Windows environment are keen to the small window previews for running apps, ChromeOS has this option, too. It just has to be enabled. To enable it… Open up the Chrome browser and type the following into the address bar: chrome://flags/#shelf-hover-previews Once enabled, you’ll need to restart the ChromeOS device for it to take full effect. The browser will give you an option to ‘Restart,’ but this doesn’t always work. You’ll want to take the extra effort and restart the ChromeOS device manually. Now, when you hover over the icon of a running app on the ChomeOS Shelf, it will display the running instance.