For some users, the Chromebook isn't an option because they believe it exists entirely in the cloud. With the latest iteration of Chrome OS (on certain devices), that has become a completely outmoded idea. Now that Google is rolling out Android app support for more and more Chromebooks, it is absolutely possible to take the devices back from the cloud and work locally. Although it is has been possible to achieve this from the start by working offline, people weren't happy until they had their hands on a standard locally-running/saving app.
That time has come. Now that you can run Android apps on Chrome OS, the likes of WPS Office can be added to the Chrome OS arsenal of productivity apps. The best part is you can link WPS Office to your Dropbox account and work both out of and in the cloud. Let's install WPS Office and link it to a Dropbox account.
The first thing you must do is install WPS Office—this can only be done on a Chromebook that supports the installation of Android apps. To find out what devices are currently supported and on which devices support is coming, check out this official list. You will also need to have the Google Play Store enabled on your device (read my article, "How to install Android apps on your supported Chromebook"). Now all you have to do is follow these steps.
- Click the Chrome OS menu.
- Locate and click the Play Store (beta) icon.
- Search for WPS Office.
- Locate and click the entry by Kingsoft Office Software.
- Click INSTALL.
- Allow the installation to complete.
You should see an entry for WPS Office in your Chrome OS menu. Click to open the app.
You're ready to work with local files, using WPS Office. If you want to extend it to the cloud, when you open WPS Office, click Open from the left pane (Figure A).
Click the Dropbox entry and then, when prompted, click Next. You will be required to enter your Dropbox credentials (Figure B). After entering your credentials (and hopefully your two-factor authentication code...as you should have that enabled), click Allow to give WPS access to the files and folders within Dropbox.
After you've allowed WPS access to Dropbox, the app is linked and ready to go. Every time you open WPS Office, you can click Open | Dropbox and your files/folders will be available.
You can also add your Google Drive account to WPS Office by clicking Add (from Open | Location), select Google Drive, enter your credentials (and, once again, your two-factor code), click Allow to give WPS access to your Drive files, and you're good to go.
SEE: Gallery: Samsung's high-end Chromebooks breaks cover (ZDNet)
A perfect combination
If you want to work with documents locally on your Chromebook and Google Drive offline isn't cutting it for you, the combination of WPS Office and Dropbox are a perfect combination. Not only does this allow you to work locally, you can also easily get your files saved to your Dropbox cloud account. Add your Google Drive account to WPS, and you might stop using Google Docs in favor of this outstanding solution.
- How to install Android apps on your supported Chromebook (TechRepublic)
- How to enable the Chromebook PIN unlock (TechRepublic)
- How to clear corrupt Google Chrome sync data (TechRepublic)
- 10 reasons why Chromebooks make good sense for business (TechRepublic)
- Get the most out of your Chromebook battery (TechRepublic)
- Industry cloud research report 2016: Adoption Plans, Decision Factors, Strategic Results (Tech Pro Research)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.