Chrome OS Adds Lock Screen Stylus Support To Dev Channel

September 26, 2017 - Written By Daniel Golightly

A Chrome OS feature that was reported to be in the works back in July now appears to be making its way to some Chromebooks, following a new commit to the Chrome OS repository. The feature in question is, of course, the one that allows stylus-enabled Chromebook users to access note-taking applications from the lock screen. At the time of this writing, lock screen note-taking is only making its way to users on the developer channel and only works for one note-taking application. Moreover, the feature does seem to require a device with stylus-support. However, the commit should also mean that users on the stable channel will be able to take notes from the lock screen sooner rather than later as well, although no specific timeframe is currently available for when that will happen.

As to the feature itself, it seems that it will be enabled by default and is activated by either stylus removal at the lock screen or by another trigger action. Users can change that setting through the preferences menu. Unfortunately, lock screen note taking currently only supports Google Keep but that is mostly down to the fact that the developers behind other applications – such as Evernote and others – have not yet had time to update their applications to support the feature. That should change over time, as more and more Chrome OS devices receive the latest update and many more options should be available by the time the feature hits the consumer-ready stable channel of the OS.

The commit also follows hot on the heels of a more recent leak, which hinted at a brand new Chromebook in the works. The leak pointed to a device called the “Pixelbook” which is expected to be accompanied by a dedicated stylus called the “Pixelbook Pen.” While the new repository additions don’t confirm that device in any way, it would make sense for Chrome OS to receive more stylus-based functionality at the system level if the leak were true. However, there is a wealth of other new Chrome OS devices shipping with stylus support as well, so that should still be taken with a grain of salt. In either case, the addition of stylus support from the lock screen is something that has already existed on several Android-based devices and should prove a useful productivity feature once it goes live on the stable channel.