Google only recentlyÂ bestowed Chrome OS with a taskbarÂ and window manager, but thereâ€™s another big update in the works. Now thatÂ Google DriveÂ has officially launched, work has begun on tightly integrating the cloud storage and sync service with the nativeÂ Chrome OSÂ filesystem.
The announcement from Googleâ€™s Sundar Pichai certainly canâ€™t come as a shock. Since day one, Chrome OS has been squarely focused on connected use. First generationÂ ChromebooksÂ offer only a fraction of the local storage that a Windows or Mac notebook would. Chrome OS is also built to play well with Docs and be easily managed by Google Apps administrators, Â so providing seamless access to that new storage system seems like a no-brainer.
Will synchronization be supported? In all likelihood, yes. Chrome OS can perform a certain number of offline tasks â€” the Scratchpad app, for example, provides decent rich text editing and photos can be tweaked â€” so thereâ€™s no reason for Google to make Drive integration online-only. Current Google Drive clients also offer selective sync, and thatâ€™s something Chrome OS would definitely need. You wouldnâ€™t want to overload your SSD with data youâ€™ve stored in your Drive that isnâ€™t of any use on your Chromebook, like PSDs, iWork files, or .MKV rips of your favorite Blu-ray discs.
You also wonâ€™t have to enable Google Drive support if you donâ€™t want to. According to Pichai, itâ€™ll be an opt-in feature.
Chrome OS will get Google Drive integration starting with version 20, which is currently being served up on the Dev channel. Google Drive has yet to surface in the file manager, but weâ€™ll share some screenshots when it does and let you know how it all works.
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