Google Chrome: The Power of the Omnibox

What’s an Omnibox? I have always referred to the bar at the top of a browser where you type in a URL as the “address bar” But I was informed that in Google Chrome, that bar is so much more. It’s the Omnibox. It can:

  • Search the web and visit addresses
  • Search for apps, bookmarks and browsing history
  • Create bookmarks
  • See security, pop-up and extension alerts
This week was the first two of six Chromebook events I am helping to lead with Lucy Gray, Joe Donahue and the Google Apps Team. We presented in Boulder on Monday, Chicago on Wednesday and next week, we’ll be heading to Austin and New York.
My topics were actually Gmail and Calendar, but we were also responsible for demonstrating some of the amazing things you can do with the Chromebooks or even just Chrome. Over the last month or so, I have been exploring the Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store.
Here are my favorite Apps and Extensions:
  • Scratchpad – A simple note-taking app. Take notes offline and optionally syncs to the cloud when you’re online.
  • goo.gl URL Shortener – Shorten url with goo.gl, the Google URL shortener, and share with many different service!
  • Screen Capture – Capture visible content of a tab, a region of a web page, or the whole page as a PNG image. Support horizontal and vertical scroll when capturing whole page, with an all new autosave capability.
  • App Jumper App Launcher – Quickly launch Apps from browser toolbar. Organize Apps and Extensions into Groups. Manage Apps and Extensions with ease.
  • SdTimer – Great in-browser timer which can count down from any time. Shows time on tab title and buzzes once done.
  • Chrome 2 Phone – Google Chrome to Phone Extension enables you to send links and other information from Chrome to your Android device.
If you haven’t already, take 15 minutes and explore the Chrome Web Store.  I can honestly say now that Chrome is my browser of choice.
Do you have any Apps or Extensions that you like and think I should share with the educators at the Chromebook Events?
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CR-48: The Google Chromebook

My daughters wanted to know what was in the box when we opened it on April 14, but I knew immediately what it was. I had been hoping since I had filled out the form for the pilot program, that I might receive a Chromebook

I’m sure you will agree that there’s nothing like unboxing a new computer. They’re so clean and pretty and they are a blank canvas.

Usually, the first thing that I do with a new laptop is install my must have apps like Skype and Tweetdeck. But the only installs on this laptop were going to be Chrome Apps. I knew I wanted to take it with me to the NJECC meeting the following day, so I spent about 30 minutes checking out a few things making sure it was ready to go.

      1. Turn it on.
      2. Take a picture using it’s camera for your profile
      3. Log in using your Google Account
      4. Select a Theme
      5. You are ready to go!

The next day at the meeting, I had some more time to look into things. (Yes, I was multitasking.) I found Tweedeck and Diigo in the Chrome Apps store. I also realized there was no way to take a screenshot from the keyboard, so I installed a screenshot app as well.

I am happy to report that after 2 hours of heavy browsing, I still had 74 % battery life. Even after an additional hour, I still had 62% power remaining, but the meeting was over, so I shut down. One of the benefits to the CR-48 that I found out in the following days, was the built-in 100mb of Verizon 3G per month. I realize that this is not a lot, but to have this available at no extra charge during the 2-year pilot, was awesome. (You can purchase additional data.)

So, just over a month later, news has come out that Google will be leasing out these computers. You can read about it here. There is some skepticism about this hardware that you can read about here and here, but on the whole, reviews have been positive and helpful.

I’m enjoying it and so are the other four users that have accounts on it.