How Chrome OS Flex can flip your old MacBook into an iCloud computer

Most Mac customers wouldn’t dream of replacing macOS with anything however the modern replace, but Google needs you to at least bear in mind every other option: Chrome OS.

Google describes its new Chrome OS Flex as a “free and sustainable manner” to put in Google’s on-line OS on any Mac or PC. The target audience is cash-strapped schools and groups seeking out “current computing with cloud-based totally control,” but it’s quite tempting for normal customers too. Chrome OS Flex gives the same breezy interface as you will get on a Chromebook (minus the Android apps) with Google’s expansive library of net apps and extensions running the display.
It sounds crazy but it’s not. Chrome OS Flex isn’t made for the overall performance of these days’s Apple silicon Macs. Rather, it’s for the hundreds of Macs and PCs accumulating dust on cabinets and tucked away into drawers that haven’t been became on or updated in years. They’re sluggish and clunky with now not sufficient space or memory but nonetheless have a few life left in them. And Google desires to squeeze each remaining bit out of them.
Chrome OS has by no means cared approximately specs in the manner Macs and PCs do. Sure you may get Core i7 Chromebooks with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, but excessive-cease specifications are in large part useless. Chrome is designed to be a speedy cloud-based OS that received’t get slowed down with log and cache files. As such, Chrome OS Flex most effective needs 4 GB of RAM and 16 GB of garage, so any old Mac will do. Google says Chrome OS Flex may be set up in “a few minutes” and has been examined on Macs as early because the 2009 MacBook, although essentially, any fantastically recent model will paintings so long as the Mac has a operating Internet connection.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted that it brings “the identical velocity, safety and simplicity of Chrome OS to present hardware,” and it sounds like an notable answer. Chrome OS Flex is perfect for an antique Mac which can’t properly run Big Sur or Monterey which you want to give to a baby or aged determine. Google’s apps are glaringly the focal point, but you can still get entry to your iCloud apps too: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, Drive, Notes, and Reminders, in addition to Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
To get commenced, you could sign up for early get right of entry to on the Chrome OS Flex web site. After registering and downloading the Chrome Recovery Extension Utility, Google will provide instructions for a way to create a bootable force on a USB stay with at least 8GB of storage that can be used to both permanently set up Chrome OS Flex for your Mac (and update the version of macOS that’s already on it) or run immediately from the USB force. To boot from the pressure for your Mac, maintain Command-R at startup, select Startup Security Utility, and pick out Allow booting from outside or removable media. Then restart while conserving down the Option key and choose the Chrome OS Flex power.
I’m a longtime Mac consumer but I actually have a Chromebook. Chrome OS is extraordinarily lightweight as compared to Windows and macOS, with maximum of the heavy lifting taking location within the cloud. Booting up takes seconds, apps open in a flash, and there are not any slowdowns to talk of ever. Where even the latest Macs can battle below heavy masses and take a half of-hour or more to update, Chrome OS gadgets need little preservation or knowledge. In short, they simply work. And now, your dusty vintage Mac will too.