Google Just Turned My Mac Into a Chromebook

Google has released initial versions of Chrome App Launcher for both Mac and Windows. Source: Google.

Last week during a Mac software update, I came across Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Chrome App Launcher for an experimental edition of the browser, also known as Chromium. I've been unable to stop using it in the days since.

See, I'm a heavy user of Google services. I use Slides to create presentations like this one. I use Sheets to track my time writing and the resulting revenue. I use Docs for writing almost everything I submit to Fool.com, including this article.

Yet App Launcher's capabilities don't begin and end with fast access to Google Drive. Indeed, anything I've added in the "Chrome Store," including apps that exist primarily on my Chromebook, are captured in App Launcher. WorkFlowy, TweetDeck, Hojoki, QuickBooks -- they're all accessible via Chrome on any of my devices. On my Mac I can launch them directly, just as if they were desktop apps.

Mac and PC users who have already created a machine-specific workflow won't care about these changes to Chrome. They won't be helpful. But for those with work that takes them from a desktop to a smartphone to a tablet and back again -- an increasing percentage of the American workforce, I suspect -- App Launcher might make getting things done just a tad easier.

Google wins, too. The search king gets to collect even more data without having to build and sell new hardware. Investors should love that idea: Motorola has suffered operating losses in each of the past five quarters.

What about Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) ? What does having Chrome App Launcher available for Mac and PC owners mean for them? Nothing, yet. Chrome is a threat only insofar as it leads to high-volume sales of Chromebooks. Google and its partners have yet to realize that, and it could be years before it does.

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  • Report this Comment On September 23, 2013, at 10:45 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Yikes another one infected with googlism.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 6:09 PM, SATXUSA wrote:

    Chrome is the best browser out there IMHO. I'm an IT Guy by trade who recently hung up his blackberry and went all out on Android and Chrome. I am also the proud owner of a chromebook. It is quite nice.. I picked it up on craigslist for $125. (They have a "wipe" feature that makes re-selling in the aftermarket easy.) They retina display although pretty just didn't make sense for a chromebook so I went for the cheapo model.

    Also I use my Samsung Galaxy Note as a Hot-Spot so the integrated 3g/4g was not for me either. For most people a base model with 3g/4g integration would be an iPad comparable device with a keyboard (sans iTunes) but less costly.

    With all of the cloud services I use for business the chromebook does most of what I NEED a computer to do. And the chrome synch across devices works nicely between my Desktop, Laptop, Chromebook, Tablet, Mac and Mobile Phone.

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