How to make your cheap Chromebook look and feel like a high-priced MacBook
Macworld|November 2020
Get iCloud, Apple Music, and a taste of Big Sur without buying a Mac.
MICHAEL SIMON

Whether you’re looking for a cheap companion or just don’t want to pay sky-high prices for a new Apple laptop right now, a Chromebook is an excellent option (go.macworld.com/xopt). With a speedy, touch-friendly UI and a breezy, get-things-done attitude, a Chromebook is an excellent addition to any Apple fan’s gear bag, whether it’s their primary device or not.

The only problem: Chromebooks are much closer to a Windows PC than a Mac. From the experience to the interface, Chrome OS is clearly inspired by Windows but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Google offers plenty of customization options to rid your Chromebook of all of its Windows influences.

EMBRACE THE SHELF

One of the main things that separates macOS from Windows OS is the Dock. But Chromebooks have something similar called the shelf, which is the place to store frequently used apps and websites for easy launching. The shelf can hold an unlimited number of apps—if you add more than you can see, you’ll be able to swipe to see the rest—and just like macOS, you can keep it visible or move it to the sides of the screen. Just right-click on an empty spot on the dock and you’ll see options for autohiding and position.

To add apps to the shelf, simply right-click on an icon and select Pin To Shelf. You can do the same to remove an app (Unpin) or you can drag it out and drop it somewhere on the desktop.

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