Here are some results:
1) I was able to get Angry Birds to run, kinda' -- the default is "HD" and after a delay, the music starts playing, but the light blue screen remains. If you switch to SD, the AB startup screen appears and the app loads and plays in a very small window within the Chrome browser window. Play feels sluggish, though. It feels like something is dampening my gestures and taps -- don't know if this the Chrome UI layer or if the app is downsized for the expected Chrome hardware.
I have the AB Mac app (57 MB size) -- it runs full-screen and performs as expected.
2) I also installed Plants and Zombies. It loaded and ran, in a larger window within the Chrome window. It too, seemed sluggish when compared to the app running on the iPad.
3) On the Mac, the Chrome browser app is 100.7 MB vs Safari at 57.1 MB -- That's almost double, and it's just a browser. I wonder why?
4) Angry Birds, once loaded, worked with the Internet unavailable. Plants and Zombies would not!
5) After reconnecting to the Internet, Plants and Zombies still would not run, even after refreshing Chrome, I could not resume P&Z until I accessed the Internet through another tab. This appears to be a miscommunication between Chrome and the app -- how to determine if the Internet is available.
6) I also installed the BBC Good Food Recipes app -- When disconnected from the Internet:
-- sometimes it would run fine
-- other times it would bring up a "page not available" message within the app
-- still other times it would open a new tab with a 404 error - apparently linking to another web page
7) I played around with the apps at docs.google.com -- some pleasant surprises and disappointments
8) GoogleDocs help docs are sketchy at best -- or non-existant when the Internet is unavailable.
9) I tried to open a blank Document file and drag and drop a local .doc file in to it. This did not work. I had to Open the file with Pages, Word, etc. and copy/paste from it to the Google Document file -- 2 extra steps.
10) Oddly, I was able to drag and drop an image file directly into a Google Document file.
11) I could not drag that same image into a Google Drawing file -- it opened a new Google Browser tab and displayed the URL of the local file, e.g. file://... In the Drawing file, I clicked the Image icon and was presented with several options. One way was to select an already uploaded image. Another way was to open an image URL. I tried the file:// URL, but it would only accept http or https URLS. Obviously the Internet had to be connected to include images in the Drawing file.
12) Each time I tried something that the Google browser didn't like or a specific Google Docs app couldn't handle -- it would open another browser tab to display, say, the local image that it couldn't drag and drop.
13) Sometimes, in some Google Docs apps, you could copy from the new tab into the Google Docs app -- other times you couodn't.
14) Very quickly the Google browser's tab bar became loaded with tiny tabs containing these things that it couldn't handle -- to the point that you couldn't tell what was in the tab without mousig over it or opening it.
15) I was surprised by the robustness of the drawing program -- though it felt sluggish compared to a local app.
16) I didn't check it but there appears to be an humongous amount of packet request/responses as well as an humongous amount of data exchange going on between the local device and the Internet using Google apps. They appear to be neither fish nor fowl -- rather, they attempt to bridge the gap between local and online. I don't believe they have succeeded.
All-in-all it was a very mixed bag best described as: some are some, and some are not!
I found that if you wanted to do anything worthwhile -- you pretty much were expected to be connected to the Internet.
Google claims that, paraphrased: "Many apps will work offline".
But they don't quantify "many" nor do they attempt to define the types of things you can do offline.
It is very interesting, to me, that Google's Flagship apps do not perform consistently, or at all -- when offline.
I found the entire experience unsettling and confusing -- and I am not technically challenged.
As it stands in today's world, I suspect that a Chrome OS-ChromeBook solution would work in a very limited set of use patterns, with very specific apps and activities -- if the Internet is available.
But, anyone who has any rudimentary experience would be put off by the lack (or inconsistency) of features such as copy/paste and drag and drop. They would be fighting the system!
For an enterprise or education IT department there may be some value to embracing the Chrome OS solution for some tasks and activities -- but I don't believe it is robust enough to wholesale replace PCs within an establishment with Chrome OS and Chrome Computers.
If the latter is true, then the individual establishment must evaluate if there's enough benefit in add another, incompatibility to the mix of IT offerings, training and support,
It is not "The Devil We Know" vs "The Devil We Don't Know" -- rather it is "The Devil We Know" vs "The Devil We Don't Know" plus "The Devil We Know".
– Alan Kay –
– Alan Kay –