CloudReady is Getting a Facelift

I’m excited to be writing our first Product Blog post to announce the most significant CloudReady update since we launched over 6 months ago - we’re update to Chromium version 43!

Chromium version 43 is built from the same codebase as Chrome OS version 43, and that means you can expect all the same changes. Among the most noticeable are UI changes like a new font, a spiffy redesign of the file manager app (now with file-system integrations!) and a new app-launcher layout.

See the next Product Blog post for some deeper detail on what else is new, but keep reading below for a run-down on CloudReady’s release schedule and philosophy.


Keeping a Reasonable Distance

These are all the same great improvements your Chromebooks have had for a while now. So why the delay? I’ll explain!

Neverware has worked closely with Google to make CloudReady a great experience. In that process, we’ve identified differing needs of the two products which help dictate the best possible release cadence.

Google’s Chrome Releases Blog lets us know that a major version change (e.g. 42 -> 43) for Chrome and Chrome OS happens every ~6 weeks or so. But in between major releases, minor releases come out (e.g. 43.0.1 -> 43.0.2). Those minor releases make small changes to help specific hardware or software work better, or sometimes patch minor bugs. At Neverware we have very different hardware to support (the hardware you already have!), and our in-house QA team wants to release 43 when it is as stable as possible. To accomplish both of these goals at once, our policy is to wait until Google has gone through their series of minor releases to stabilize a major release before we send it out.

All this means that, once the release is as stable as possible, we merge it into CloudReady and deploy it to you. Ultimately, that leaves CloudReady behind Chrome OS by 1-2 release versions: just long enough for Google to fully stabilize everything, and for us to make sure the new changes play nicely with your converted PCs and Macs.

Is That All?

You may be thinking “Great! One release every 6 weeks, a responsible- distance behind my Chromebooks! CloudReady is the best!,” but you’d be slightly wrong (though CloudReady is the best).

Our crackerjack development team is always busy -always. They are working hard to do a lot more than just bring your Google’s latest changes. Everyday we’re working on adding compatibility support for more of the machines you already have - this includes driver support to keep wifi and graphics performing at top capacity and ensuring that installation takes up as little of your valuable time and attention as possible. We’re also always trying to make sure that your peripherals and accessories work as you expect, and that you can get the info you need about your CloudReady machines as easily as possible.

Now, that’s a lot of changes to hold onto for 6 weeks - we don’t want to leave you waiting that long! That’s why we release CloudReady releases every 3 weeks - often enough to squeeze in a release full of extra features and added compatibility in between every major Chrome OS upgrade.

How Do I Get Updates?

Updates work just like they do for Chromebooks - we’ll host them on our Cloud Servers and your CloudReady machines will download the update and install it in the background. When it’s ready, you and your users will start to see a small “Upgrade” arrow in the system tray. Just reboot the computer and you’re ready to go - since the upgrade is pre-installed, an upgrade reboot doesn’t take any extra time.

Remember: If your CloudReady machines are enrolled in Google’s MGMT console, then they will follow settings you put there. So Auto-Updates will need to be enabled to get this, and any future, release. In a future blog post, I’ll talk about release-management and beta versions too.

We’re really excited to be rolling out CloudReady v43.1 as the school year gets rolling. You can follow this blog for future release updates and other great read. Don’t forget to get in touch with us at [email protected] to let us know how CloudReady is impacting your school year!