5 apps you should use on your Chromebook

5 apps you should use on your Chromebook

Whether you’ve just bought a new Chromebook to move away from a Windows laptop, or you’re just a fan of ChromeOS, we have some advice: you don’t have to use Google Chrome all the time.

ChromeOS is actually home to a number of great apps that can enhance your Chromebook’s everyday use, including Android apps, Linux apps, and progressive web apps. However, there are five apps that I think can transform your Chromebook experience. I have one that I use almost every day.

1. Cog-System Info viewerCOG is open and running on ChromeOS and shows CPU activity

As someone who evaluates laptops for a living, I like to delve into the specifics of Chromebooks and how they work. I like to see how my CPU is being used, its temperature and battery drain. I even like to see the information on the display, show the refresh rate and more.

A great way to see all of this is with the Cog-System Info Viewer. It’s a traditional Chrome web app that’s lightweight and powerful. Pull system APIs from your Chromebook in an easy-to-understand way, such as a CPU usage graph reminiscent of Windows’ Task Manager. It doesn’t go as deep as other apps, but it shows you everything you need clearly.

Download Cog-System Info Viewer


GIMP on ChromeOS shows a laptop and various menus

The great thing about Chromebooks is that you can run Linux graphical user interface (GUI) applications on top of ChromeOS. One of my favorite Linux GPU apps for Chromebooks is GIMP, an image manipulation program similar to Photoshop where you can edit images, create designs, and more. Best of all, it’s free.

To install the app, you’ll first need to enable Linux on your Chromebook and then type a command into the Penguin terminal, but once you’re up and running, you’ll love it. I use it a lot to improve the quality of the photos I use in the reviews I use on XDA. To install GIMP, follow the terminal instructions below.

sudo apt install gimp

3. Sketchbook

A sketchbook running ChromeOS that shows random doodles

I have a lot of great Chromebooks in my collection, but one of my favorites is the original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook because of its stunning 4K OLED display, which is perfect for drawing. I’m not much of an artist, but I like to doodle and doodle every now and then. I’m sure a lot of people would want to do this on a great ChromeOS tablet like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, and Sketchbook is a great Android app to satisfy that doodling craving. The app has a variety of brushes, and when combined with the right pencil, it feels like drawing on paper.

4. Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop runs a Windows 11 session on ChromeOS

Even though I use my Chromebook most of the time, I still love using Windows. While Parallels Desktop for ChromeOS exists, there’s no real (free) way to run Windows on a Chromebook, but I’ve found that installing Remote Desktop on one of my many computers works best. The app that makes this easy is Chrome Remote Desktop.

Setting up Chrome Remote Desktop is pretty easy. It works seamlessly when you’re connected to a solid network, and you can even resize your remote session to fit Chromebooks’ screens. All you need to do to start using this web app is to visit the link below and follow the on-screen steps.

Try Chrome Remote Desktop

5. LumaFusion

The latter app costs $30, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a creative Chromebook user with a YouTube channel. I’m talking about LumaFusion, a video editor optimized for ChromeOS.

I was very pleased with it when I recently downloaded it to my Chromebook. The interface is optimized for all Chromebooks and feels like iMovie on MacBook or Wondershare Filmora on Windows. The app also has advanced features such as the ability to add effects and titles, split clips, and more. Watch a live demo of the app in the video above and download it from the link below.

While there are many other apps I can recommend, like Steam for gaming (although you’ll need to switch your Chromebook to the beta channel), Evernote for keeping track of important notes, or even an alternative browser like Microsoft Edge, these are: the most popular apps, which should be launched on the device. The platform has become much more than a web browser, and if you need to perform a specific task on your Chromebook, there’s probably an app for you.

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