Google's upcoming Pixelbook replacement, tentatively the Pixelbook Go could herald the arrival of exclusive "Made by Google" wallpapers. That's based on some code that's now reportedly been added to the Chromium Gerrit code repository.
The code unambiguous points to the portion of the operating system to do with setting a wallpaper. Even less murky is a further reference to the creation of a filter explicitly for Google-branded products. Summarily, that filters through images that are included in the wallpaper picker based on whether it's made by Google.
So the implication is that some wallpapers in Chrome OS will come exclusively to Pixel-branded gadgets.
But why would Google bring exclusive wallpapers alongside Pixelbook Go?
Now, Google's no stranger to the art of bringing exclusive content to its own products. In particular, wallpapers are among the things in that category for its Pixel-branded smartphones. The big difference here is that Google's Pixel phones have plenty of other things to set them apart too. Android allows for that.
Pixel Chromebooks don't have that same luxury because Chrome OS is effectively a walled garden. That includes software but typically includes UI elements such as wallpapers too.
Even so, although it would be a nice bonus, a few exclusive wallpapers aren't going to sell any more Pixelbook Go device. That is unless these are standard wallpapers. The notes drawn up by Googlers don't give away too many details about exactly what the wallpapers will be. They only point to the fact that they'll only be on Google Chromebooks.
Speculatively, these wallpapers could be the first time a live or motion-based wallpaper has arrived on a Chrome OS gadget.
Right now, Chromebooks all deliver static wallpapers. But Pixel-branded smartphones bring something different via Google's own wallpaper app. Those bring Google's own landscape-based animated wallpapers.
Those initially differed from standard live wallpapers in that they typically animate subjects in the landscape that would be moving. Google's wallpapers, for instance, might animate water or a bird but not the overall landscape. Developers followed suit with their own wallpapers. So that's become an Android wallpaper trend in the interim.
Google may hope to deliver something similar to Pixelbook Go. There could be some continuity between those wallpapers and the Google Pixel 4 flagship. No such wallpapers have been spotted among the leaks from the gadget yet, but it isn't out of the question.
If Google does implement those types of wallpapers, it will fundamentally change how the UI on Chromebooks is perceived.
The Pixelbook Go won't be the only Chromebook to get these
If that's the case, this would be a bigger deal than standard exclusive wallpapers for the Pixelbook Go. In part, that's because it would be the first instance of live wallpapers of any kind on a Chromebook. But it would also not be limited to the upcoming clamshell laptop.
The code commit points to codenames for other Pixel-branded Chromebooks. Those are Eve, Nocturne, Atlas, and Samus. Google will almost certainly parcel out the new wallpapers across the board in a future update. If so, owners of any current Pixel devices from the original Pixelbook through Pixel Slate will see the new wallpapers.
Google will presumably launch the Pixelbook Go at its Made by Google hardware event. That takes place on October 15.