Google has now officially launched a new certification program dubbed "Works With Chromebook" for Chromebook accessories. As its name implies, the program will work to test accessories for compatibility with Chrome OS devices. Those accessories will then be marked with a logo in the form of a badge sticker placed on the packaging.
The logo is fairly straightforward, consisting of the words "works with Chromebook" printed in a distinctly Google font. Those are placed just below the Chrome browser icon in a square box with rounded corners. So the accessories should be easily recognized when they're found on shelves or online.
To begin with, Google says the certified products will be available at Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart.com, and Bic Camera. Top brands are already set to take part in the certification program too. The search giant lists AbleNet, Anker, Belkin, Brydge, Cable Matters, Elecom, Hyper, Kensington, Logitech, Plugable, Satechi, StarTech, and Targus.
What does Works With Chromebook really mean for users?
As is implied by the list of partners already participating in the Works With Chromebook program there will be a number of accessory types associated with it. To begin with, Google explicitly lists power adapters or chargers, mice, and keyboards. But it also says that there are other accessories set to become available too.
Now, it's already possible to find any number of those gadgets that work with a Chromebook. For example, finding a new charging solution is technically as straightforward as knowing the charging rate of a Chromebook or Chrome OS gadget. Then, it's just a matter of finding a charging adapter or cable that's rated the same. As long as that's from a trusted brand it should work.
Similarly, finding a mouse or keyboard that works is a matter of ensuring it will connect via the methods available on a given Chrome OS device. That's true whether the accessory connects via USB, USB-C, Bluetooth, or any other compatible method.
The primary difference here is that Google will have tested the devices for compatibility. So users will know at a glance that a given accessory works out of the box. That should also provide some motivation for accessory manufacturers to make new devices explicitly for Chromebooks. With the badges in place and the target audience more readily able to see what works, sales should improve in that category.
Accessories are available from today in three regions
According to Google's announcement of the program, the Works With Chromebook program is initially available in three regions. That's the US, Canada, and Japan. In particular, buyers will be able to shop at Amazon and Best Buy in the US and Canada. Buyers in Japan will see the badge appearing at Walmart and Bic Camera. More retailers and online sellers are said to be "coming soon."
Some products, such as multiport adapters from Cable Matters, are also available direct from the OEM. Those products are also already marked as being "Works With Chromebook" certified. So consumers should already be able to spot and buy the products without too much effort as of today.