Google Bringing Chrome OS Shelf Overview & More To Chromebooks

Google is working on adding an Overview mode and a number of other features to Chrome OS, with the main idea being delivering an improved desktop experience meant to help one's productivity. The functionality itself is tied to the Chrome OS shelf and works much like it does on the last several iterations of Windows, allowing users to hover over open shelf apps in order to see a small preview of their contents. Chromebook developers have also recently been committing more resources to revamping the shelf behavior of their apps so as to bring them more in line with Google's Material Design guidelines when their tray icons are right-clicked.

The changed Chrome OS app icon look is also paving the way for app shortcuts Google announced at the latest iteration of its I/O developer conference this past week. The Overview functionality has already been introduced to the latest beta build of Chrome OS in the form of a flag but still doesn't work as flipping its software switch doesn't do anything. App shortcuts themselves are expected to debut in the coming months, i.e. with Chrome OS 69. Chromebooks will also be updated with a Picture-in-Picture mode later this year, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant said last week, having described a feature that's been supported on Android TV platforms since Android 7.0 Nougat and that also ended up being added to smartphones and tablets with Android 8.0 Oreo.

Chrome OS 66 remains the last stable version of Google's operating system, with many upcoming additions to the platform that are now expected to launch later this year being aimed at improving the overall productivity of Chromebook users. Google's ecosystem should be expanded with a number of ultra-premium models in the coming months, with detachable laptops in the vein of Microsoft's Surface Pro lineup now being worked on by several consumer electronics manufacturers, according to recently discovered Chrome OS commits.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]