Yesterday was Android day at Google I/O, and today is Chrome day. The company announced today that Chrome is up from 70 million users at last year’s Google I/O to 160 million active users now.
Google announced new Google “Chromebooks” – Chrome OS-based Notebooks from Samsung and Acer coming next month. Devices will be available for order on June 15 – Amazon.com and BestBuy.com in the U.S. and at various retailers in six other countries.
In addition, Google announced monthly subscriptions for Chromebooks for businesses and schools. These will begin at $28 per user for business and $20 per user for educational institutions.
With Chromebooks, users will be able to access Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar offline.
Google also encouraged users to jailbreak the devices (inserting another jab at Apple).
In a blog post, Google says:
These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook you won’t wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You’ll be reading your email in seconds. Thanks to automatic updates the software on your Chromebook will get faster over time. Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won’t need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don’t need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G, just like your phone, you’ll have the web when you need it. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain. Even more importantly, you won’t spend hours fighting your computer to set it up and keep it up to date.
At the core of each Chromebook is the Chrome web browser. The web has millions of applications and billions of users. Trying a new application or sharing it with friends is as easy as clicking a link. A world of information can be searched instantly and developers can embed and mash-up applications to create new products and services. The web is on just about every computing device made, from phones to TVs, and has the broadest reach of any platform. With HTML5 and other open standards, web applications will soon be able to do anything traditional applications can do, and more.
Google announced that it is expanding the Chrome Web Store around the world in 41 languages for free apps. In addition, in-app payments are now available for apps in the Chrome Web Store.
Angry Birds is now available in the Chrome Web Store as well. Google collaborated with Angry Birds maker Rovio to bring Angry Birds to the web.
For more announcements from Google I/O cheek out this roundup of yesterday’s news. One other Chrome-related announcement that was actually released yesterday was the availability of the ChromeVox screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS. This is a Chrome extension that lets developers test web apps with a screen reader inside the browser so they can do better accessibility testing.