It is almost time to put 2021 to rest and say goodbye to yet another unusually tumultuous year. While we reflect on the difficult times of the past year, we would be remiss if we didn’t take some well-spent time to focus on all of the good that has been birthed out of so much diversity. We have found ourselves still in the midst of a global pandemic and living day-to-day with uncertainties for the future. Just recently, nature took a nasty turn for the worse as our local area was devastated by a tornado that shredded out a 200+ mile path through the heart of the US. Yet, humanity prevails and despite the turmoil, we are extremely thankful to begin another New Year doing what we love here at Chrome Unboxed.
That said, it’s time to take a look back at 2021 and highlight the top articles of the year. Not surprisingly, there are a few posts here about Google’s latest flagship, the Pixel 6 but you may be surprised to see some of the pieces that made our Top 10 list for 2020. I know I was. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 Chrome Unboxed articles for 2021 from the least to the greatest with a bonus article to boot.
#10 Can you mine Doge on a Chromebook
If you made it through 2021without discussing, reading, or hearing about cryptocurrency, well, good for you. I apologize for breaking your streak but our #10 post for 2021 is all about mining Dogecoin on your Chromebook. While mining any significant amount of crypto requires powerful hardware like cutting-edge GPUs or ASIC miners, we wanted to see if it was possible on a late-model Chromebook and sure enough, it is. You aren’t going to get rich, mind you. In fact, the electricity will likely cost you more than you mine but below, you can find out how to mine with a Chromebook using Linux and convert your earnings instantly to Doge or one of many other digital currencies.
#9 How to preserve your Chrome Tab Groups after restarting your Chromebook
It’s hard to believe but it has been more than two years since Chrome began work on its productivity-minded Tab Groups feature. Since then, the very useful feature has seen numerous updates and tweaks to add to Chrome’s toolbox. It is clear from the response to our ongoing coverage of Tab Groups that this was a feature wanted by the masses. It also appears that users are very interested in keeping their Tab Groups intact after shutting down their Chromebooks. Our #9 post for 2021 is all about preserving your Tab Groups after your device shuts down.
#8 Playing Friday Night Funkin’ on a Chromebook
Part of our job is keeping an eye on industry trends and trending searches as they relate to Chrome OS and Google products. Occasionally, we come across some unusual bits of news that we were completely unaware was even a thing. The popular Indie game Friday Night Funkin’s happens to be one of those things. The game launched on Kickstarter with a goal of $60,000 but quickly smashed that goal by raising $1.7 million dollars. The promised release would land on Steam, iOS, and Android but a playable demo was already available on the web and people were searching like crazy to learn more about this game.
#7 Google’s Pixel 6 just made the Pixel 5a relevant
Kicking off the first of a few posts about the Pixel 6 smartphone from Google, here’s a little piece about why the new Tensor-powered smartphone breathed new life into its lesser sibling, the Pixel 5a. #7 on the list, why the Pixel 6 just made the Pixel 5a relevant.
#6 Android System Webview takes out multiple Android Apps
Back in March, millions of users took to the web to report a wide variety of applications failing to work on their Andriod smartphones. Many of these apps were from big players such as Amazon, Yahoo, and yes, even Google. After some research, it came out that the root of the problem was actually the Android System Webview core app that allows applications to open in-app web portals instead of opening them in the Chrome browser. Google acknowledge the problem and a fix was rolled out but not before countless users went searching for a fix. #6 for 2021 is the fall, albeit temporary, of Android System Webview.
#5 Pixel 6 & Pixel 6 Pro price leaks ahead of launch
There are plenty of things to love about Google’s new flagship phones but the price is definitely up there on the list. Just two days before the official launch, the pricing for the 6 and 6 Pro was leaked and it brought the hype to an entirely new level. That’s exactly why this post made it all the way to #5 on our list.
#4 Got it, but first, you’ll have to unlock your phone
The #4 post on our list is a little rant from our own Michael Perrigo about one of the frustrating disconnects that still exists in the growing number of connected homes. Using the Google Assistant can be very helpful and add to your productivity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as you’d expect and that’s exactly what Michael lays out in this very well-written piece.
#3 Robby’s Pixel 6 Pro case gives him an epiphany
Robby being Robby got his hands on a case for the Pixel 6 Pro even before the phone hit the market. While we were all convinced that the Pro was going to be our choice, the overall size of the phone was causing a bit of concern. After getting this case in hand, Robby quickly resolved that the larger model would be just fine. Ironically, he, Joe, and I have since decided that the “smaller” Pixel 6 is the overall better option.
#2 The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro allegedly leak again ahead of tomorrow’s event
Yes, it’s another Pixel 6 article. The hype around these phones from Google was insane and just one day before the launch, one “leaker” posted what was supposed to be the phones on display in a retail space. It appeared that the photos were heavily doctored and we still aren’t sure if there was anything real about them at all but needless to say, our readers were interested. #2 on the list are alleged leaks of the Pixel 6 from Google.
Before we get to our number one article for 2021, there’s one post that has earned an honorable mention. This article technically took 9th place on our list but it wasn’t written in 2021. It was actually penned in October of 2020 by Joe and it runs down how to turn your TV remote into a basic controller for your Gen 2 Chromecast. Prior to the release of the Chromecast with Google TV, this was a very hot topic but apparently, users are still looking for this how-to. For that reason, this one gets a very honorable mention.
We’ve finally made it to the #1 post on our Top 10 articles of 2021. This piece just happens to be one of our favorite types of content, an opinion piece. We love writing this because it allows us to express our thoughts with digital ink in the hopes that we can connect with, the reader, on a real level. These posts can oftentimes be time-consuming as they take an equal amount of research as they do opinion. There’s nothing wrong with expressing yourself for millions of readers but it’s always a good idea to have your facts straight before waxing philosophic all over the internet. Am I right? Anyway, this post comes from our awesome staff writer Michael Perrigo and it touches on a very hot subject for Chrome OS users.
#1 Windows 11 tried to make Chromebooks irrelevant, but…
For years, tech writers and fans have fueled the feud between Chrome OS and Windows. Rumors are constantly swirling that Microsoft is on the verge of launching the next big thing that will be the Chromebook killer. To date, none of that has come to fruition. In fact, it almost feels as if Microsoft has turned its focus away from trying to tackle the cloud-centric giant that is Chrome OS. Either way, there are still advantages to each ecosystem and there’s room to play for both teams.
With the perception of a battle always present, anything related to Chromebooks and Windows is always a popular subject and because of that, this little opinion piece about Google throwing Microsoft a curveball took off. This article skyrocketed and created a lot of great conversations from our readers, new and old. Michael’s take on Google’s efforts was a hit and it made this article, hands-down, the #1 post on Chrome Unboxed for 2021. Barring anything crazy over the next eight days, it will remain on the throne as our top article for the year.
Well, that’s it, folks. Our Top 10 posts are put to bed and we’re quickly wrapping up another year. We are so thankful for all of our readers and the support you’ve shown us over the past five years. We are excited to hit the ground running and 2022 and break some more milestones along the way. We’re glad that you’re coming along for the ride because we’re expecting big things ahead. Stay tuned for more as we recap our Top 10 Videos of 2021 and maybe a few more surprises to ring in the New Year.