You can enable the floating keyboard if you are using your Chromebook in a tablet or tent mode. It will help you type using the touch-screen display. So to enable it, open Settings and click on “Advanced” from the left-pane menu. Here, scroll down and open “Accessibility”. Now, just enable the toggle for the “on-screen” keyboard. Now, a keyboard icon will show up on your shelf. Click on it and voila, the keyboard is on your screen.
As we have mentioned before the Chromebook is, in some sense, a very private computer. It’s directly linked to your Google account so anyone gaining access to your Chromebook means they can view your photos, check your emails, read your notes among many other things. In a way, it’s not easy to share your Chromebook as it’s with Windows-based computers. So, what if someone asks to use your Chromebook for a while, say your sister or someone from your family? Well, you can create a separate account or better, take advantage of the “Guest Mode”. It lets you access most of the Chrome OS features without adding any account. Open the Quick Settings menu from the bottom-right corner and sign out of your current profile. Now, click on “Guest Mode” at the bottom and you will be in a temporary profile.
If you are having any problem with your Chrome OS, you can easily factory-reset (called Powerwash on Chrome OS) your machine, similar to Android devices. The great part about Chrome OS is that all your files are synced to Google Drive so you don’t have to worry about data loss. Just open the Settings and click on “Advanced” from the left-pane menu and then move to “Reset Settings”. Here, click on the “Reset” button and the computer will restart to complete the process. After that, sign in with your Google account and everything will fall into its place just like before.
If you were reading something on your Android and suddenly moved to a Chromebook then you can continue reading it on your computer easily. Just press the “Search” button once and you will find the link in the first entry. Click on it and there you have it. Other than that, if you want to quickly call a phone number from a webpage, you can right-click on it and send it to your Android device. Your smartphone will prompt you with a one-tap call notification.
Google has brought support for Android devices on Chromebook which can help you get many things done seamlessly. In case, there is no WiFi available, Google allows the Chromebook to tether your Android device automatically for always-on data connectivity. Apart from that, you can also seamlessly sign into your Chromebook by unlocking your Android device. Basically, both the devices are always in communication so that you get the best of the Google experience. So if you want to add your Android device, open Settings and click on “Connected Devices” in the left pane. Here, set up your Android device and you are good to go.
If you are someone who wants to taste the new and exciting features of Chrome OS then you will have to jump the ship from Stable to another channel. There are four update channels: Stable, Developer, Beta, and Canary. I would advise you to stick with Developer or Beta channel as these are relatively bug-free than Canary and also allow you to enjoy the upcoming features. So to change the update channel, open Settings -> Click on “About Chrome OS” in the left pane -> Change Channel. Here, choose the update channel of your choice then go back and check for updates. After downloading the update and installation, just restart your Chromebook and you will be in.
If you want some websites to behave like an app with a separate window and launcher menu then you can create such standalone apps on a Chromebook. However, keep in mind, it’s only possible on those websites which adhere to PWA (Progressive Web App) standard. For example, you can easily create apps from websites of Spotify, Twitter and our own portal, beebom.com. To do so, open the website of your choice and click on the 3-dot menu on the top-right corner. Here, open More Tools -> Create Shortcut -> Check the box for “Open as Window” and click on the “Create” button. Now, you will find the website as a separate app available in your launcher and you can even pin it to your shelf.
While the Play Store support is great on Chromebook, many users find it inadequate as some of their favorite apps are officially not available on the Play Store. In that case, you will have to download the APK and run it through the ARC Welder. I have explained the steps in great detail in a separate article on how to install the Kodi app on Chromebook. You can follow a similar step for installing other apps as well.
If some Android app is not allowing you to resize its window size or does not open in the landscape orientation then you can force enable the flag from the Android Settings page. Open Chrome OS Settings and click on Apps in the left-pane -> Google Play Store -> Manage Android Preferences. Now we are on the Android Settings page so navigate to System -> About Device -> click on the “Build Number” continuously for 7-8 times. Now, go back and open the “Developer Options“. Scroll down to the bottom and enable the toggle for “Force activities to be resizable”. Finally, restart your Chromebook and the Android apps should be resizable now.
Similar to Android smartphones, we can change the DNS configuration on Chromebooks too. You can use third-party DNS like Cloudfare or OpenDNS to improve your internet speed. So to modify the DNS, open Settings and click on the WiFi network that you are connected to. Here, scroll down and click on “Network” to expand the menu. Finally, select “Custom name servers” and enter your choice of DNS address.