I have written a number of times (see https://goo.gl/TsSWQ5 to find my earlier articles) about Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop computers that boot up quickly, are simple to use, never get viruses, and perform the computer tasks that many computer owners want.
Chromebooks also have a long-life battery life. A Chromebook does not slow down over time and there are no long boot times — just flip it open and get busy doing anything other than waiting.
Because Chromebooks safely and securely store almost all data in the cloud, nothing is lost if you break or lose a Chromebook. It’s all in the cloud, no matter what. As a result, a thief can steal your Chromebook but will not gain access to any of your personal information or documents. And because the technical requirements for running Chrome apps are so low, you still get reasonable performance, even from a sub-$200 laptop.
One of the weaknesses of Chromebooks has been the lack of good genealogy apps. That is now changing.
To be sure, Chromebooks are low-powered computers. At these price levels, you cannot expect high-powered workstations. If you are an artist, designer, scientist, engineer, or a video-game player, you probably will find that the Chromebook is insufficient for your needs. Most everyone else will find that a Chromebook works well for them.
Chromebooks are already outselling Macintosh laptops according to analyst firm IDC (see http://goo.gl/Q9PHnD for details).
Although low-priced and easy to use, these laptop computers are already likely far more capable than you think, but their utility is about to increase exponentially. Beginning this fall, Google’s Chrome platform will add support for Android apps, instantly giving Chromebook users access to millions of new applications found in the Google Play store. Once Android apps are added to the thousands of Chrome apps already available, the Chromebooks will become more attractive than ever.
Once Android apps become available later this year on a Chromebook, dozens of genealogy apps from MyHeritage, FamilySearch, RootsMagic, Heredis, GedStar Pro, Find-A-Grave, Ancestry.com, and many other vendors should work well on a Chromebook. We won’t know if ALL of these apps will work on a Chromebook until after the capability is added. However, Google’s recent announcement does state that MOST Android apps will work properly on the future release of the Chrome operating system.
Apparently the earlier, lower-powered Chromebooks will not have enough processing power to handle Android apps. A list of every single Chromebook that will support Android apps this fall may be found at http://bgr.com/2016/05/27/chromebook-android-app-support-model-list/.
I found my very old Samsung Chromebook will not be able to run Android apps but my newer Asus Flip Chromebook should work well. If you already own a Chromebook, you might want to check the list at http://bgr.com/2016/05/27/chromebook-android-app-support-model-list/ to see if your device can support Android apps.