How to manage app permissions, sizing, and notifications on a Chromebook
The category of Android apps on the Chromebook platform has come a long way since the early days of Chrome OS. Not only are more apps supported than ever before. But users can also manage each app just like on Android, with just a little extra in terms of management – from permissions and notifications to how their Chromebook resizes Android apps.
But why would you want to manage your apps and how can you achieve it? Let’s dive in and find out.
The reasons you’ll want to manage any app on a Chromebook are the same as a phone.
Now, the main reason anyone wanting to manage an app on their Chromebook will be the same as on Android. Namely, for security and privacy. And that’s because, just like on Android, these apps have permissions. And these permissions manage Android apps on a Chromebook giving them the ability to access everything from the camera to location and account data, just like any app on the mobile platform.
Of course, permissions do more than just increase the level of functionality of a given app, whether it’s on Android or Chromebook. They also potentially serve as malicious access vectors that users may not necessarily want. Enabling or disabling permissions is therefore an activity that almost any user should learn to accomplish.
Just like Android, any user of an app on a Chromebook can also manage notifications. These can be activated or deactivated directly. Or users can choose to manage them in more depth, by turning on quieter notifications in Chrome, for example. Effectively denying potentially counterproductive or downright annoying notifications that certain apps may send.
And this last feature can be especially useful for those who sync their mobile device through Phone Hub. Or through any of the other methods available to send notifications from their phone to their Chromebook.
Finally, app management means that users can easily and easily enable or disable resizing features of apps recently added by Google to the operating system by default. Namely, the feature that keeps apps locked between landscape phone or tablet orientations rather than allowing them to potentially snap by resizing to fill the screen.
This can, of course, be done on an app-by-app basis as those apps are opened. But it can also be accomplished more broadly, which is the last topic we’ll cover in this guide. So, without further ado, let’s explore the âhowâ behind these features.
Here’s how to manage one or more apps on a Chromebook
There are several ways to manage the apps installed on your Chromebook. Here, we’re going to discuss the easiest and most common ways to manage any app on your Chromebook.
Here’s a simple way to manage a single app on your Chromebook.
Learning how to manage a single Android app on your Chromebook is a straightforward process. And one that should be familiar to any user of the Android platform.
- Open your app launcher using the concentric circle icon at the bottom left of the Chrome OS user interface
- Tap or click the upward pointing arrow to open the full drawer. Conversely, you can also use gestures – with a two-finger up trackpad, swipe up from the bottom to open the launcher and another up to open the full app drawer.
- Locate the app you want to manage. For our sample images, we’ll focus on a banking application called “One” and Adobe Photoshop Express.
- Perform a “right click” action on the icon of the application of your choice. This can be accomplished using simple shortcuts such as holding down the ‘alt’ key and clicking or clicking with two fingers. A long press will also work, for Chromebooks with a touchscreen
- In the resulting context menu, tap or click on the âApp Infoâ option
- Chrome OS will load a screen containing all of the same management elements found on Android. So, you should see the app icon at the top of the page, next to an “Uninstall” button. Other options will appear below
See all installed apps and manage them too
Conversely, you can also manage apps using the dedicated Settings menu and it may be a bit easier for some. Especially for those who want to manage all their applications.
- On your Chromebook, tap or click the clock at the bottom right of the shelf
- Tap or click the gear-shaped Settings icon
- Select “Apps” from the left sidebar in the resulting Settings app
- Tap or click on the âManage your appsâ option. Chrome OS will then present all the installed applications. These can be managed by following the steps below. Just tap or click on the individual app you want to manage from the resulting list. A helpful search is also included at the top of the page if you are looking for a specific app.
How to Perform Basic App Management Through Chromebook App Manager
- TO Uninstall an app, go to the application management page using any of the methods mentioned above to access the page
- Once the management of the application is open, press or click on the associated “Uninstall” button. Chrome OS will ask you if you want to uninstall the app. Click or tap “Uninstall” to confirm
- TO Pin an app to the shelf, activate the option “Pin to the shelf”
- Tap or click the toggle next to the “Notifications” option, to disable or enable notifications
- TO enable or disable permissions the app can have access, just toggle the associated user interface next to the permission you want to grant or deny access to. It should be noted that some apps need permissions to function properly. For example, the Photoshop Express application requires storage access to open and save images. The One app used in this example needs camera permission to take verification photos for account access in some cases
How to manage permissions, data, and more for Android apps on Chromebook
Now in the initial app info screen, you’ll see options to manage some of the app permissions on your Chromebook. But there are also deeper options that can be addressed.
- In the app management user interface described above, click or tap on the âMore settings and permissionsâ option. The UI displays the option next to a square icon with an arrow pointing away from the square from the lower left inner corner
- Once opened, the user interface will be presented in the same way as the app information on Android. With clear management options for those listed above, but with more in-depth options available as well. For example, under Permissions, users can both allow and deny permissions. And can choose to expire permissions when not in use. This page UI also provides options for users to go to the app’s page in the Google Play Store, uninstall or open the app, and force the app to stop if it fails. behaves badly. All clearly labeled as on Android smartphones
- TO empty storage and / or cache, tap or click on the âStorage and cacheâ option. Like on Android, the UI for managing an app on the Chromebook platform shows how many of each is being used. And gives options to erase either
You can also adjust which apps have Chrome’s new preset window sizes.
Of course, with the latest updates to Chrome OS, there have been some changes to the way the system lets you manage an Android app beyond these elements as well. Namely, by allowing users to continue resizing certain apps normally. While others are locked into a scale selected for better usability. Gmail, for example, is one such application.
Resize your apps again via the Chromebook app management menu
Changing the app size for these apps is no longer a simple task. Or at least it’s not as easy as touching and dragging the edges. As is the case in Windows and other operating systems. And as was the case with those same Android apps on a Chromebook.
Fortunately, we already have a guide that can walk you through the change process via a method. But there is also another way to configure apps. And it’s in the same menus above, making it easy to quickly manage multiple apps. Instead of opening all apps individually within the app.
- Open the app management menu via your preferred method above
- If the application is resizable, it will have an additional option called “Predefined Window Sizes”
- To make the app permanently resizable, click or tap the toggle next to the “Preset Window Sizes” box. After disabling the feature, you will be able to use the minimize / maximize UI, as was the case before the feature was added. With the feature enabled, the UI will appear when the app is open, allowing you to switch between Tablet, Phone, and Resizable modes