Google Updates Chrome OS and Google Play Music

In May of 2011, Google unveiled the Chromebook – a netbook that runs on Google’s Chrome operating software.  The device hasn’t really gained traction since launch, namely because of the price, and not many people are familiar with it.

What made the Chrome OS different from the very beginning is that it’s web-centric.  It might have been a factor for the Chromebook’s unpopularity too, but that’s changing.  The recent developer channel update gives the Chrome OS an overhaul, and it now looks like the cross between the Windows OS and the OS X.

“The new Chrome OS window manager, dubbed Aura, adds a traditional desktop (with support for wallpapers), stacked windows, a task manager, and an app launcher similar to Launchpad in OSX,” as stated by a report on VentureBeat.  “Aura is hardware accelerated, meaning it takes advantage of the Chromebook’s graphics processing instead of the CPU for intensive tasks. Google says the framework will offer ‘large-scale animated transitions and effects’.”

Google Play Music

Google’s also updating its marketplace software.  If you recall, Google launched Google Play back in March where it rounded up the Android Market, Google Music, Movies and the Google eBookstore under one hub.  Though Google Music and the eBookstore is not available in most countries, Google patrons are loving the new Google Play.

Everyone knows that Googlers aren’t happy when they’re not tinkering or experimenting on their products and services, so when Google Music added new features, it wasn’t that surprising.  Don’t get me wrong– it’s expected for Google to add new features or upgrade their stuff, but what they bring to the table is still considered by many as innovative on Google’s part.

So what did Google add to Google Music?  It now features track notifications that pop up when a new song begins playing, but you must be using Google Chrome in order for the feature to work.  Users can also rate songs on a scale of 1-5, and the last but most notable feature is the ability to enable HTML5 Audio playback, averting Flash all together.