Version 2 of Google’s Flutter toolkit adds support for desktop and web apps

At an online event, Google today announced Flutter 2, the newest version of its open-source UI toolkit for building portable apps. While Flutter started out with a focus on mobile when it first launched two years ago, it spread its wings in recent years and with version 2, Flutter now supports web and desktop apps out of the box. With that, Flutter users can now use the same codebase to build apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux and the web.
“The big thing that justifies the major version number shift is, of course, the availability of web and desktop support,” Flutter product lead Tim Sneath told me. “And that’s just a fairly profound pivot. It’s rare for products that you suddenly have all these additional endpoints.”
Image Credits: Google
He noted that because of Flutter’s open-source nature, web and desktop support had been “cooking in the open” for a while, so the


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Google hits pause on Chrome and Chrome OS releases

Google today announced that it is pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases “due to adjusted work schedules.”
The company confirmed that we will still see security updates, though, which will get merged into version 80, the browser’s current stable release version. “We’ll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80,” the team writes in today’s brief announcement.
Don’t expect any new feature updates anytime soon, though. Chrome version 81 is currently in beta testing and will likely remain in this channel for now. Like so much in this current situation, it’s unclear when Google plans to resume regular updates.
Earlier this week, Google also noted that Android app reviews will likely now take longer as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced in-office staffing levels. The same holds true for YouTube. As YouTube is taking measures to protect its staff, it says it’ll rely more on its


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Chrome apps to disappear from Windows, Mac and Linux while Chrome OS gains new launcher icon

Google has come to the realization that hardly anyone is using Chrome apps. As such, the company plans to phase out support for the apps on Windows, Mac and Linux over the next couple of years. While admitting that packaged apps are used by just 1 percent of users of the three platforms, Google says that the decision comes after a drive to integrate the feature of apps into web standards. Chrome apps will live on in Chrome OS “for the foreseeable future”, but a wind-down timetable has been set out for everyone else. Nothing is changing immediately. But come… [Continue Reading]


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Raspberry Pi 3 official Android support could bring cheap big-screen e-reading

raspberry-pi-3-640x427.jpgFans of the Raspberry Pi 3, that delightful little mini-computer that Chris Meadows has written up so affectionately, will be heartened to hear that Android is now making The Fruity Little Computy That Could into an officially supported Android device. The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) has now created a repository (so far empty) for the Raspberry Pi 3. As written up in Android Police and elsewhere, this could mean a full-blown Android OS iteration for the mini PC. Or it could simply mean support for linking Android devices. With no indication when any code will actually debut, so far we don’t know.

If we do get a full version of Android running on the Pi 3, though, that could be interesting. Right now I’m running a version of the Chromium OS on my Pi 2, which basically converts my Raspberry into a mini Chromebox. And now we have talk of Android/Chrome convergence with the Google Play Store opening up to support Chrome devices. It’s not hard to anticipate that all your favorite ebook reading apps for Android and Chrome might soon be running on a Raspberry for big-screen display in home or classroom alike.

The post Raspberry Pi 3 official Android support could bring cheap big-screen e-reading appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://teleread.com/raspberry-pi-3-official-android-support-bring-cheap-big-screen-e-reading/

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Why Android apps on Chromebooks are a really, really big deal (really!)

Put on your thinking caps, my friends, ’cause it’s time to get philosophical.

Ponder me this: What constitutes an “Android device”? It’s something I’ve been mulling ever since word broke that the entire Google Play Store of Android apps would be coming to Chrome OS later this year — and it’s a question I’ll ask you to keep in mind as we take the time to think through that move and what it could mean for us as consumers.

In case you were hiding out in a bunker last week and didn’t hear, Google officially announced that it’ll soon be possible for you to download Android apps on Chromebooks and use them as if they were native programs on the platform. It’s a pivotal step in the long-rumored “merger” of Android and Chrome OS — one that further solidifies the notion that this isn’t the kind of “merger” most folks were expecting (with the exception, of course, of all you smart and stunning anthropoids who follow this column).

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Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3073537/android/android-apps-on-chromebooks.html#tk.rss_all

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Google announces ebook, other Android apps on Chromebooks soon

Google Play store ChromebookAnother very interesting announcement out of Google I/0 2016 is definitive confirmation that Android apps will be “Coming to a Chromebook near you.” As quoted by 9to5 Google, the Google session statement says: “Today we announced that we’re adding the best mobile app experiences in the world, Android apps and the Google Play store, to the best browser in the world, Chrome! Come to this session and test your Android apps for Chrome OS. You will get hands on help from our friendly engineers on how to optimize your Android app for Chromebooks.”

This certainly isn’t the first time that this possibility has surfaced. Already a month ago rumors via Reddit were pointing towards full implementation of the Google Play Store on Chrome OS, with a pretty impressive screen grab (see above). But now apparently it’s official – well, as good as. And the many Chromebook users, both teachers and students, in the education sector, as well as those who just like a good cheap laptop, can look forward to expanding on the current pretty limited Chrome OS selection of ebook reading apps – including “Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader (the Chrome flavor) … Readium and dotEPUB and Cloud ePub Reader with Drive” or “the Google Books reader.” Bookari for Chrome, anyone? FBReader? Moon? All that could be just around the corner, to the delight of many.

The post Google announces ebook, other Android apps on Chromebooks soon appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/google-announces-ebook-android-apps-chromebooks-soon/

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Teachers! Chromebook e-readers! Want to make a $35 Raspberry Pi Chromebox?

Chromium RaspberryHere at TeleRead, we’ve rehashed the education dominance of Chromebooks for schools and students across the U.S. so often it hardly needs repeating. And one of the main draws with these devices is their price. But for those who still balk at the even the super-cheap cost of a Chromebook, here’s one way to go even better: Install the Chromium OS on the $35 Raspberry Pi 2.

The friendly Raspberry Pi 2 usually runs a slew of Linux distributions, including its own Raspian flavor, as well as various versions of Ubuntu. However, I know from experience that its performance isn’t exactly stellar on these. Furthermore, Linux is not always a tremendously friendly OS for noobs, even in its Ubuntu variants. The Chrome OS, or its Chromium OS open source version, though, is well rated for supreme user-friendliness, and is already familiar to many school-age users. And the Chromium OS for Single-Board Computers project now offers a downloadable install of Google’s homegrown OS for Raspberry Pi 2.

Installation is a cinch. First, download the OS – though this is a 325MB file, so you might want to get on a good/free connection. Then unzip it, and write it to a micro SD card using an image writer program. As any Raspberry user will tell you, the Raspberry Pi 2 runs its OS straight from the micro SD card, so in principle, once the Chromium OS is on the card, you’re ready to go. Do note that WiFi support is still not predictable and consistent for all WiFi adapters, but for anyone who can connect to the internet through the Raspberry Pi 2’s Ethernet socket, it should still work fine.

The Raspberry Pi 2 has HDMI and audio output, as well as more than enough USB sockets for peripherals, so you can now run Chromium OS over a desktop display. I’ve yet to try this hands-on myself, but plan to ASAP. Because who wouldn’t want this, at this price? There are plenty of e-reading options for Chrome OS – see here. And David Rothman has already gone through all the reasons, and ways, you would want to run Chrome OS on your ageing PCs. Now you can do the same on new hardware at a price so minuscule it hardly even registers. Even Asus’s Chromebit now looks overpriced in comparison at $85. Apparently the project project will run on the even more wonderful Raspberry Pi 3 – one can only hope it turns out as good on there too.

The post Teachers! Chromebook e-readers! Want to make a $35 Raspberry Pi Chromebox? appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.


Original URL: http://www.teleread.com/teachers-chromebook-e-readers-want-make-35-raspberry-pi-chromebox/

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