Building a ChromeOS Workflow...

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
...is a lot tougher than I thought. My need for a light, portable "laptop" led me to ChromeOS. I still have a full-fledged PC desktop with all my Post-Processing tools, but I was tired of the Windows update and anti-virus, malware dance and I sure didn't want it on a daily carry.

Truth be told, I'm moving to a new office where Guest WiFi is supported and I can get to Cameraderie and all my other sites and content without impinging upon my heavily monitored and lousy to surf work laptop. So I bit the bullet and got a Pixelbook. I really tried not to. I sat there in a big box electronic store and compared all of them. Don't ever do that if you want a healthy wallet. There's a reason they put the flagship model right next to an entry level box. Just loading Cameraderie's home page alone was like night and day between an Acer R11 and this one. Ugh.

So now I'm on ChromeOS. Love it - boot time is literally no word of a lie *five seconds* from the time I lift the lid. I'm staring at a login in five seconds and no waiting for the computer to load the desktop, refresh the icons, load all the programs in the task tray. Five seconds.

But now for a workflow. It's not intended to replace my PC, but it's more of an experiment to stretch it beyond just a surfing device. They bundle LR CC but of course all the good features are subscription locked. I know there are a few Polarr users here, and I've jumped on that as a Chrome Extension - I was really surprised at how good it is for what it does. While I didn't drink the Google Kool-Aid completely and declined buying their overpriced Pointer Pen, I got a cheaper alternative, which helps a lot in placement and fine tuning of the Polarr controls. If there are any Chromebook users out there, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
Feb 6, 2015
Central Ohio, USA
Andrew
I opted for the Samsung Chromebook Pro for my ChromeOS experience. Love it and it comes with a stylus for the price. Got it on sale too for $100 less than MSRP.

Right now, I do use Polarr some. The beauty though of the newer Chromebooks is their ability to use the Google Play Store apps as well as ChromeOS apps and extensions.

This means that you have the ability to use Pixlr, Snapseed and many other phone centric apps in the same ecosystem. Even Lightroom CC does well, and yes to get the full potential you'll need a CC subscription.

I believe I've shared this before, but here is my ChromeOS on the go workflow blog post from a bit back:

Best Light Photographic BLOG: Light, Low Cost Image Backup Solution


It all does take some getting used to, but I find it a nice, lightweight solution for backup and light processing out in the field.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
It's a bit of a shame that my travel Chromebook is the older Acer C720 which, unfortunately, isn't capable of using the Play store; but honestly, I find Polarr really quite sufficient - if, and that can be a big if, your files actually work with it (I'm a RAW shooter ...). This is true for Canon and Leica files without restrictions; Sony and Panasonic RAWs only allow access at heavily reduced resolution; Panasonic files can make Polarr cough at attempting export. Funny thing I just realised: I never actually tried any Nikon or Olympus files - have to check those soon ...

M.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
N.B. Just tried a Nikon RAW file - works at full resolution in Polarr :)

Olympus :mu43: RAW files give you 3200x2400 resolution - down from 16MP. Still, usable for online use.

M.
 
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Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
Thanks for all the useful info folks. So far it's been pretty okay for taking my Pixel Phone photos and doing some light-weight editing. Snapseed was right on from a recommendation - I have it on the phone, but completely forgot this Chromebook can now run Google Play Apps. I was also hoping my eZy Watermark Pro would run too, but no dice. The upside is I learned on the fly how to make my own Black and White font Watermarks and use Polarr to apply. Old dog, new tricks.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I'm a big fan of Snapseed for the quick'n'dirty Instagram posts. It's intuitive and easy to use and has some nice preset processing features

I work for myself, so no "custodians" to be wary of, or corporate standards to comply with. I bought one of the more powerful Surface Pros in the last Amazon Prime Day sale - £500 off, rude not to - and I am very happy with it for work and play as an everyday carry.
 

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