Online and Offline Apps
If you click or touch the Apps icon in the lower left corner of the screen, you’ll be greeted with two pages of Apps which include the Web Store, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Drive, Hangouts, Files (for managing files on the system and Google Drive), Calculator, Camera, and more. You’ll also find Google’s office apps among this list which include Google Docs for word processing, Google Sheets for spreadsheets, and Google Slides for presentations. The Chrome OS also includes apps such as Google Keep (for jotting notes) and Chrome Remote Desktop.
The Chrome Web Store offers a number of apps which can be divided into two key categories: Online and Offline apps. The majority of the apps are Online apps. In reality, these are more like shortcuts to online third party apps, games, and utilities that have been tested to work with the Chrome browser. As you’d expect from the name, Offline apps are installed on the system and do not require an Internet connection to function.
As with Windows OS, the Chrome operating system lets you open multiple apps at the same time and place them in separate, resizable windows. This is especially useful for multitasking and accessing quick-glance information in apps running in the background. You can also dock windows to the left or right for a split-screen effect by clicking and holding the Maximize window icon in the upper right corner and then selecting the left or right dock arrow.
Although the Chrome OS is designed primarily for connected devices, Google realizes people need their Chromebooks to function when offline as well. Thankfully, a number of key Chrome OS features also work while offline, including Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Files, Google Play (provided you’ve downloaded content for offline use), Calculator, and Google Keep.
While browsing the Web Store, you can select the Offline Apps category to find apps that don’t require an Internet connection. We were pleasantly surprised by the offerings found here which include entertainment options as well as utilities. A few names you may recognize in this list include Angry Birds, Vine, Cut the Rope, Kindle Cloud Reader, Gmail Offline, and WeatherBug.