“This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading.”
I think you will agree with me when I say: Starting your morning with this horrible message in your notification tray is a deep punch. You may have spent a lot of money to buy your Chromebook, your Chromebook Already It tells you it will no longer be updated – your device may be compromised if it is lost Interesting new Chrome features. Thanks to a great project internally known as Lacrosse, your update troubles may soon be obsolete.
Feeling familiar? Device updates are a major issue on Android. Back in October 2017, The distribution rate of Android was very poor – Shameless self-promotion for Ballistic Products and a great bargain on a neat little knife for you. Thanks to OEM’s carelessness, although Android fragmentation still affects many devices today, Google’s Project Treble is making a significant difference in increasing Android adoption rates and extending the lifespan of older devices. Google now wants to do the same with Chromebooks, and the answer is lacrosse.
What is lacrosse?
Lacrosse is an experimental initiative to separate the Chrome binary from the system UI (ash, overview mode, shelf, etc.) in Chrome OS. To get started, Chrome’s developers have renamed the existing Chrome binary on Chrome OS to Ash-Chrome. They then took the Linux version of Chrome and renamed it Lacrosse-Chrome, modifying its Wayland support and architecture to allow it to run on Chrome OS. This allows Google to send two different bineries for free, regardless of version. For example, Chrome OS can run on OS 87, but Chrome can be on binary version 89.
In short, think of Lacrosse Chrome as using Chrome on a traditional Linux desktop, but with excellent violet support.
I tried this feature when it first appeared on developer channels as a Chrome flag in April, but it’s just put the default gray Chrome Canary Icon in the app drawer and clicking on it did nothing. Then I’m paying attention to it – enable the flag and click on the icon whenever an update is missing.
Recently, I was able to launch Lacrosse.
With the latest Chrome OS Canary Channel update, we have a first look at the Lacrosse Chrome browser running on Chrome OS. Check it out here:
An First Look at Experimental Lacrosse Chrome. It works … for the most part.
As you can see, Lacrosse Chrome works just like a standard Chrome browser installed on a traditional operating system. There are a few things Google needs to do to make the experience even smoother, like weird white flash, random penguin icon on the shelf, and slow performance. But lacrosse is at the beginning of its development, so these are to be expected.
Why this matters
So, it’s all fun to work side by side with two different events in Chrome, but you may be wondering why this is so important. To answer that question, Google should first look at how Chrome OS updates.
Currently, Chrome is deeply connected to the Chrome OS, which means that Google must compile a monolithic package and send it to the update channels. While that may not be a problem, the main problem remains when a Chromebook reaches AUE or end of life. Just like on an Android phone, when your Chromebook arrives in AUE, you will miss the new Chrome OS updates. Missing a Chrome OS update means that Chrome itself will not be updated, which makes the browser obsolete, vulnerable and unable to take advantage of updated platforms on the web.
Lacrosse may be Google’s answer to this. This Chrome binary is distributed separately from Chrome OS, so Google can update Chrome Binary independently of the operating system. This means that even if your Chromebook is in AUE, your browser will still receive critical and security solutions from Google for the latest and best features. If you think about it, it will have a huge impact on the educational space. Schools are buying a lot of old Chromebooks for students, especially now that many classes are going virtual during the global pandemic. Thanks to Lacrosse, students can continue to use their web-based platforms as school Chromebooks affected by AUE continue to receive Chrome updates. Organizations no longer have to buy new and updated Chromebooks, which can save a lot of important money.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. For example, there is no information on how to deploy Lacrosse on Chrome OS if this feature is released to a stable channel. I think Google will set up Chrome OS to prompt users to install Lacrosse when they hit their Chromebook AUE, but I’m not sure. Lacrosse is becoming an exciting project, and I’m excited to see Google try to extend the life of Chromebooks.