Chrome OS devices will soon be able to take a screenshot when the power and volume down buttons are pressed, much like an Android device, if a recently uncovered code in the Chromium repository is any indication. The behavior does not replace the existing keyboard shortcuts for taking a full and partial screenshot but supplements them in an intuitive, tablet-friendly way. The code commit even goes as far as mentioning Android, leaving no secret that it plans to mimic the behavior of devices that millions of people are already familiar and comfortable with. While the code is live in the repository, there’s no telling exactly when it will be pushed out for users to actually take advantage of. Since it’s still in testing, those who attempt to use it by grabbing a fresh Chrome OS build from the source may find it a bit buggy.
The code in question has a few bug fixes worked into it at present. For example, on some Chromebook models, with the mysterious Eve Chromebook specifically mentioned, there is a delay of 150 milliseconds upon pressing the power button before the normal action for it is initiated, allowing users ample time to press the volume down button and get a screenshot instead of turning off their Chromebook’s screen. Even if the volume up button is pressed by a mistake, the code cancels the normal power button action. When the right combination is pressed, it has to be held for 150 milliseconds in order to actually initiate the screenshotting action.
The newly revealed feature is another in a long line of Chrome OS tweaks meant to make the OS more friendly to tablets and convertible devices sometimes referred to as hybrid PCs. While there are no Chrome OS tablets out on the market at the moment, a large number of high-end Chromebooks, including Google’s newly announced Pixelbook, have all embraced the ability to convert from laptop to tablet mode, letting users choose whether they want a device that can sit on a lap or table and be used for work or an entertainment device for things like gaming, reading comics, and streaming all kinds of video content.