Chromebooks continue to grow in popularity among students and consumers alike. As time goes on, Google pumps more features into its operating system. Today’s Chromebooks are capable of far more than their predecessors from even two years ago. If you recently purchased a Chrome OS device, then you need to do a few things to get started. A Chromebook comes with a lot of power and capabilities, but you’ll need to activate some of these features and put in some effort first.

Install (Or Activate) The Google Play Store

Currently, most Chromebooks include support for the Google Play Store. Newer Chromebooks tend to include the Play Store by default. You’ll want to navigate to the icon on your machine and then opt into the program. For the time being, the Play Store remains in a beta version, although most apps work as intended. Most users will find Android apps flawless in Chrome OS, and over a million apps make the operating system even more useful and powerful.

Customize The Settings Of Your Chromebook

After starting your Chromebook for the first time, you’ll want to customize Chrome OS in various ways. A handful of customization options are available for these devices. It’s important to set your keyboard preferences as well as your display resolution preference. From there, you can customize backgrounds, windows, and other characteristics of the operating system. You won’t find a ton of customization options here, but each and every customization will tweak the experience to your preferences.

Don’t Forget About Extensions For The Chrome Browser

Chrome OS features the Chrome web browser, which means extensions are available here. You can download extensions and improve your web browsing experience. Then again, certain extensions act like separate apps within Chrome OS as well. Try out a few extensions and see how they can improve your browsing experience. A lot of extensions may bog down your machine, so make sure you’re using a Chromebook with decent hardware to ensure the best results.

Opt Into Beta or Developer Builds of Chrome OS

Chrome OS receives constant development and updates. A Chromebook on the Stable Channel may receive an update every couple of weeks. However, you can opt into the Beta Channel or the Developer Channel. Both channels come with features and tweaks not found in the Stable Channel. You’ll be able to access features that haven’t been released in an official capacity. Typically, Beta builds are stable enough that you won’t encounter many bugs, but Developer builds may feature instability on a regular basis.

Consider Installing Linux On The Machine For Added Versatility

You may not realize that various Linux flavors can be installed on Chromebooks. A majority of Chromebooks can be sideloaded with the Linux operating system. Although Linux comes with a slight learning curve, your machine will be capable of far more tasks with it. If you like to tinker with your computers, then swapping Chrome OS for Linux is a smart idea. Otherwise, you might consider dual-booting Chrome OS and Linux for the best of both worlds.

Chrome OS continues to improve each and every day. New features are announced regularly, and stronger hardware continues to come on Chromebooks. Unfortunately, you can’t game well on a Chromebook aside from Android apps and basic Flash games. You’ll want to check out the top laptops for gaming if you prefer to play games and utilize the best hardware. A more powerful machine running Windows is required for hardcore gaming. Most people will find Chrome OS more than passable as a daily operating system, though. Get the most out of your new Chromebook!