Tales of an Offline Chromebook

Much has been said these past several years regarding Chromebooks, and their ability to perform sans Internet. It’s no secret that I myself am a Chrome OS fan-boy (and proud of it). But this past week has been rather disappointing for this ex-Windows user. My wife and I took a trip to Texas this week, and for no real reason in particular, I’d like to share with you my experience with you all.

I started my trip in my bedroom, where I purchased and downloaded the Lego movie via my newly installed Google Play Movies and TV Chrome web app, which is allegedly supposed to provide users with the ability to download, and later watch off-line movies and T.V. shows.

I downloaded it on both my Acer C720, and my wife’s HP 14 (HP 14 because it has a larger screen, the Acer just as a backup).

Turns out it was a good thing I downloaded it on my Acer as a backup, because once I boarded the plane, and opened the HP and seconds later opened the Play Movies app, I was presented with this error:

Screenshot 2014-06-29 at 10.48.49

And I never got past it. Obviously, going to chrome://chrome-signin wasn’t doing anything, as you need an Internet connection for that to work.

I pulled out my Acer, and the app was still open from when I had downloaded the movie, and it played just fine. My wife and I were able to enjoy the Lego movie in HD, with no Internet connection.

The second bit of frustration arose on the return flight home, when I attempted to connect to the GoGo in flight Internet. I connected to the network, went through the steps, it verified my Chrome OS device, and said congratulations you’re connected!

But I was never actually able to get a website to load. I tried for several minutes, all the while being lied to by the wifi icon telling me I was connected and had Internet access.

Then suddenly, my wifi icon donned a smaller exclamation point icon of it’s own, informing me there was an issue, then it told me that a sign-in was required. OK, that’s typical I thought, I’ll click on that bubble, click “sign in” and I’ll be good to go.


Upon clicking said bubble, I was presented with this message:

Screenshot 2014-06-30 at 08.22.45

I’m not sure which reason was the reason I couldn’t connect. I do know that it wasn’t because we were below 10,000 feet yet.

So I just put my Chromebook away and tried to nap for the remainder of the flight.

I’m not writing this to complain about anything in particular. I’m just being a blogger, blogging about his life experiences, as they pertain to technology.

I will note, that none of my frustrations were caused by the Chromebooks themselves. The Google Play app is new, and clearly has some bugs that need to be worked out, and the GoGo Internet is so bad it rivals that of Starbucks.

Also worthy of note, is the fact that I’m writing this post on my Acer C720P Chromebook while off-line, in the MLPS airport waiting for my next flight. I’m using an app called StackEdit, but I could also be using Google Docs off-line, or even Gmail off-line if I had no other option.

I’m also finding, that even while online, that Google Play Movies is having other issues. Every few minutes while trying to stream The Legend of Hercules, it stops playing and tells me that it’s playing on another device (it’s not playing on another device) and I have to find where I left off and restart playback. Hopefully they fix these issues soon. Then there’s this bit of weirdness:

Screenshot 2014-07-01 at 09.52.38

About James Welbes

James is a guy who does things. Lots of things. Nothing weird, mostly computer things like blogging, web development, Netflix. He's a total Google fanboy, (despite Allo) and has been recognized as a Google Expert in Google's Chromebook Central product forum.