Why it matters: Google's new Works with Chromebook program should give customers greater confidence in the accessories they buy for their Chromebook. Similar to other certification programs, Google has partnered with third-party accessory manufacturers to ensure their products work well with Chromebooks to avoid compatibility problems.
Google is launching an initiative called "Works with Chromebook" in order to certify accessories to work with Chromebooks.
"You’ll begin to see the Works with Chromebook badge on certified accessories in the U.S., Canada and Japan," said Program Manager Kevin Ngo in a blog post. "We’ve tested these accessories to ensure they comply with Chromebook’s compatibility standards. Once you see the badge, you can be sure the product works seamlessly with your Chromebook."
Ngo lists 13 companies as initial Works with Chromebook partners: AbleNet, Anker, Belkin, Brydge, Cable Matters, Elecom, Hyper, Kensington, Logitech, Plugable, Satechi, StarTech, and Targus. Retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon will also sell certified accessories.
Similar accessory certification programs already exist for other platforms. Apple has its "MFi" program that certifies accessories that can be used with iOS devices. Google itself has the "Made for Google" (and previously "Works with Nest") program for third-party accessories to hook into Google's smartphone and smart home ecosystem.
9to5Google notes that the Works with Chromebooks badge will be particularly useful for keyboards. Chrome OS uses specific keyboard layouts that include additional functionality such as the Google Assistant and dedicated search button. The new certification could see more Chrome OS-focused keyboards which may spur more Chromebook adoption.
Masthead credit: Chromebook by Konstantin Savusia.