You can now set wallpaper on your Chromebooks, and manage iPads and Android tablets from the Google Apps admin console.

The Google Apps admin console gives you a huge amount of control over your Chromebooks and the Chrome desktop browser, but it’s still missing a few key features. It’s also impossible to manage Chrome for Android or iPad which gives and inconsistent experience between desktop, Chrome OS, and mobile devices. But Google has sort to remedy a few of these issues with a batch of new configuration options in the Google Apps admin panel. Read on!

Setting a custom wallpaper on your Chromebooks

A glaring omission from the Google Apps admin console was the ability to set a standard wallpaper on your Chromebooks. Until now students have been able to adorn their desktops with pictures of One Direction, Justin Bieber, and other popular bands that I’ll pretend I didn’t just Google. It’s a shame to replace Google’s standard gallery of beautiful HD wallpapers, but if you want to stop your students setting inappropriate wallpaper photos, Google now lets you do so.

To set a custom wallpaper — maybe with your school logo — login to your Google Apps admin console and navigate to Devices > Chrome > User Settings and bathe in the glory of your new digital powers. The new option only currently supports .jpgs.

Chromebook Custom Wallpaper One warning though — make sure you have trust worthy techs or things like this can easily happen…

Rick Astley on a Chromebook

Manage Chrome on iPad and Android

The Chrome browser has been available on iPad and Android for a while now, but it’s always been the lesser cousin of the Chrome family. Chrome for mobile has been missing the same plugins, extensions, and management features that grace the desktop and Chrome OS, but with the most recent update users can now login to Chrome on mobile devices and pull some, but not all, of the settings down from your school’s Google Apps domain.

Chrome for Mobile

Currently only a very limited set of options work, and that selection differs between Android and iOS. For example, you can disable Incognito mode or manage the browser history on Android but not on iOS. Despite this it’s great to see Google providing cross-platform management features — set it once in the Google Apps admin console and it’s set on all your devices. Hopefully we’ll see more Chromebook like control over Android devices, but that would be wishful thinking for any of Apple’s tablets.

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About Author

Profile photo of Karl Rivers

Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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