Everything you need to know about Chrome OS Flex

Everything you need to know about Chrome OS Flex

How does Chrome OS Flex stack up against the regular version of Chrome OS?

Chrome OS Flex and normal Chrome OS have some significant differences. Most notably, Flex lacks native support for Android apps. However, just like on ordinary Chrome OS, it will be possible in the future to mirror your Pixel phone’s screen for Android app access. And you can already use Phone Hub to its full potential right now. Chrome OS Flex, unlike CloudReady, is capable of running Google Assistant.

Another significant distinction between Chrome OS Flex and Chrome OS is the relative absence of Linux app support. While Linux for normal Chrome OS has only recently passed beta, it is still labeled as experimental on Chrome OS Flex, and certain older laptops lack the necessary hardware to run Linux virtualization. Chrome OS Flex is genuinely more like previous Chromebooks — cloud-first laptops that rely nearly entirely on online technology.

Chrome OS Flex only works with Intel and AMD processors. Computers with ARM chipsets will be excluded from the Chromebook-like experience, leaving Microsoft’s Surface Pro X and the latest M1 Macs in the cold. This may change in the future, but for the time being, most ARM machines are fresh and capable of running their original operating systems just fine.

Chrome OS Flex does not support a few ports and functionalities, which may not function properly or at all in the worst-case situation. CD and DVD drives, fingerprint readers, FireWire ports, infrared and facial recognition cameras, Thunderbolt, and styluses or other pen peripherals are all potentially affected components and ports.