Google announced that it would be adding the Google Play Store to its Chromebooks starting this fall. As of now, Chromebooks only were able to run things inside the Chrome browser with extensions that would have limited functionality offline. The announcement at Google I/O this past week means it will be possible to run nearly all Android apps on the Chromebook. Some of those apps may still be specific to phone use, but this would mean the Chromebook would suddenly be able to run photo editing apps, Microsoft Office apps, and much more that wasn't ideal in a browser window.
Dave is looking forward to Google I/O this week for the VR applications. Leo says that Google dropped the ball with Google Glass augmented reality devices, but they are planning a new version, so maybe they'll get their mojo back. Leo also says that Google I/O could announce some new Chromebooks or some new apps for the Chromebooks.
Russell has been "banned" by HP from being able to buy a computer anymore because he complained about a broken computer they had sent him. Leo says that the PCs from HP have improved since 5 years ago. The ban is still in place, though. Leo says he's never heard of that before. It's odd, but he should just take his business elsewhere! Leo says that Dell is very good. The customer service has fallen since prices have dropped, but the computers are still very good. He should want to get a higher end model.
Joe's wife can't remember the login on her old Windows computer. Leo says that on older Windows Vista computers, security isn't as good as it is now. There used to be a hidden administrator account. Leo recommends trying "administrator" or "admin" with blank password. If that works, she can get in and create a new account to move her stuff over too. There are also programs that she can run that can crack the password. NT Crack is one. But to use it for college?
Wade has a Chromebook and wants to know how he can scan with it. Leo says that the Epson All-In-One will scan to Google Drive. He can set up his Chromebook with Google CloudPrint and Google Drive, and then he can scan directly to it. Leo says that a Chromebook really is the answer for most people because they can store everything in the cloud and it's just simpler, more secure, and there really isn't anything you can't do with it.
(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)
Stacey wants to know if a Chromebook can run Microsoft Office functions. Leo says that it can run Google Docs, but it won't run Windows apps like Office. Google Docs has a spreadsheet program that's almost as good as Excel, though. She's also having trouble using the trackpad. Leo says to just buy a mouse, plug it in via USB, and it'll be just like a desktop.
Alan wants to know how to find a reputable computer tech. Leo says thats the conundrum, because there are a lot out there. It's also hard to find because it's hard to make good money. All the good guys are getting swooped up by startups. There is Geek Squad and Nerds On Call. Leo's heard bad stories from the Geek Squad, though. The Apple Store works by design, because they keep it all in house. Leo says that the prices are so low on computers now, it's almost not worth it to have them fixed. There are better choices for the home user like a Chromebook or a tablet.
Barry uses a Chromebook to transfer his images to an external hard drive, but now he can't open it in Windows. Leo says that issue may be that the Chromebook formatted the hard drive in a format that Windows doesn't recognize. It's likely formatted in a Linux format, like EXT 2 or 3. Barry can get an extension to Windows that will be able to translate it. Check out Ext2FsD.