Even before the first stable release of Chrome browser was released back in September 2, 2008, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and mnmlist fame wrote a very interesting article. The title: Firefox OS: My Hardware and Software are Obsolete. In it, he talks of the benefits of using a browser and cloud computing. And this was before HTML5 really started taking off.
In the post, Leo includes many excellent suggestions on how to incorporate the browser into your work-flow, suggestions which can be easily applied to making a Chromebook the only computer you really need. After all, Chrome OS is “just a browser.”
But Chrome OS has no desktop right? You can’t even set your own wallpaper?
It’s one of the simple joys of having a computer: customizing your desktop, picking and choosing your wallpaper. To those concerned about not having this feature in Chrome OS, I have good news for you. There are actually many ways in which you can customize Chrome and Chrome OS. Below are a few. Because with Chrome OS, certain browser features become OS features, though it may not be so obvious.
The Chrome Web Store has many themes to choose from and by many, I mean over a couple of thousand. All of these are compatible with Chrome OS.
You know all those cool widgets you can put on an Android phone that enables fast access to whatever application or data you might want? This is what iGoogle Gadgets essentially are, and you can load them on your personal iGoogle page. There are many “gadgets” to choose from here. Personally I use it to access Google Reader, date and time, tasks, etc. This has been helpful to me: for example, before I got tired of having to open the Windows calculator application on my work computer this would take several seconds to load. Now I always have a calculator handy. Oh, and just for fun, I have a quote of the day and little virtual hamster.
I just set iGoogle as my homepage and access my apps page via Chrome’s “+” button.
Upload Your Own Wallpaper to your homepage:
If you prefer a more minimal set up but still want to add a personal touch, Google gives you the option of setting a wallpaper. You can set wallpaper in your Google start page.
Of course, all of the above ways to customize your browser aren’t Chrome specific, but it goes to show you that the browser makes for a very customizable, flexible, and light OS, attributes that Chrome OS takes full advantage of.
So there you go. Chrome OS doesn’t mean you need to go without a sweet desktop and wallpaper. Customize to your heart’s content!
What are some ways that you customize your Chrome experience?