5 apps you should use on your Chromebook

Whether you just purchased a new Chromebook to move away from a Windows laptop or are just a fan of ChromeOS, we have one piece of advice: You don’t have to use Google Chrome all the time.

ChromeOS is actually home to many great apps that can enhance the everyday use of your Chromebook, including Android apps, Linux apps, and progressive web apps.However, there are five apps, in particular, that I think can shape your Chromebook experience, and there are some that I use almost every day.

1. Cog- System Info viewer

As someone who reviews laptops for a living, l like diving into the specifics of a Chromebook and how well it runs. I love seeing how my CPU is being used, its temperature, and how the battery is being discharged. I even like viewing the display information, showing me refresh rates and more.

A great way to view all of this is Cog- System Info Viewer. This is a traditional Chrome Web app that’s lightweight and efficient. It pulls the system APIs from your Chromebook in a way that’s easy to understand, like with the CPU usage graph, which reminds me of the Task Manager on Windows. It doesn’t go as in-depth as other apps, but it’ll show you everything you need in a clear way.

Download Cog- System Info Viewer


GIMP running on ChromeOS showing a laptop and different menus

The great thing about Chromebooks is that you can run Linux graphical user interface (GUI) apps on top of ChromeOS. One of my favorite Linux GPU apps for Chromebooks is GIMP, which is an image manipulation program similar to Photoshop where you can edit images, create designs, and so much more. Best of all, it’s free.

Installing this app requires that you enable the Linux feature on your Chromebook first and then enter a command in the Penguin terminal, but once up and running, you’ll love it. I use it a lot to boost the quality of the photos I use in reviews here at XDA. If you want to install GIMP, use the terminal instruction below.

sudo apt install gimp

3. Sketchbook

Sketchbook running ChromeOS showing random scribbles

I have a lot of great Chromebooks in my collection, but one of my favorites is the original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook because of its impressive 4K resolution OLED display, which is perfect for drawing. Now, I’m not much of an artist, but I like to scribble and doodle occasionally. I’m sure there are a lot of people who want to do this on a great ChromeOS tablet like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, and Sketchbook is a great Android app that can satisfy that urge to doodle. The app has many types of brushes, and combined with the right stylus, feels like sketching on paper.

4. Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop running a Windows 11 sesion on ChromeOS

Even though I use my Chromebook much of the time, I do still like using Windows. While Parallels Desktop for ChromeOS exists, there’s no real (free) solution to run Windows on a Chromebook, but I found what works best is to just remote desktop into one of my many PCs. The app that makes this easy is Chrome Remote Desktop.

Setting up Chrome Remote Desktop is quite simple. It works smoothly when you’re connected to a solid network, and it can even resize your remote session to fit your Chromebooks’ screen. All you have to do to get started with this web app is visit the link below and follow the steps on the screen.

Try Chrome Remote Desktop

5. LumaFusion

This last app has a $30 price tag, but it’s absolutely worth trying if you’re a creative Chromebook user with a YouTube channel. I’m talking about LumaFusion, a video editor optimized for ChromeOS.

I was very satisfied with it when I recently downloaded it to my Chromebook. The interface is optimized for all Chromebooks and feels like iMovie on a MacBook or Wondershare Filmora on Windows. The app also has advanced features like the ability to add effects and titles, split clips, and so much more. Check out a live demo of the app in the video above, and download it with the link below.

While there are many more apps that I can suggest, like Steam for gaming (though you’ll have to switch your Chromebook to the beta channel), Evernote to keep track of significant notes, or even an alternate browser like Microsoft Edge, these are the top apps you should get running on your device. The platform has evolved to become so much more than a web browser, and if you need to accomplish a specific task on your Chromebook, there is likely an app for you.