Google Search On Your Chromebook Could Be Ready For A Visual Overhaul

Chrome App Launcher AH 2019

Google may be preparing a visual redesign of the search features it includes on the Chromebook platform. That’s based on recent reports citing a change to the code behind the OS. And specifically for the search tool found behind either the launcher button or a tap on the Search key. That’s the key with a magnifying-glass icon, which launches the launcher’s search tool.

What changes is Google bringing to search on your Chromebook?

Now, the exact nature of the changes is still obscure, as of this writing. The change to the code found in the Chromium Gerrit simply says that the company is adding a new flag. Or, more directly, a new “flag for launcher categorical search” and that it’s associated with the “[Launcher]” in the code.

The flag, of course, doesn’t actually do anything, as of this writing. And the Chromebook platform’s search tool, conversely, already provides a categorically divided search.


For instance, if the search term “sketch” is typed onto the device in use for this article, the results are divided. The apps Sketches and Autodesk Sketchbook appear at the top. A separator line is just below those horizontally scrollable icons. And below that line, listed vertically, are files with “sketch” in the title and then common web searches from that term.

On the other hand, typing “apps” does something similar. But since “Apps” is also a setting on a Chromebook, the search also returns relevant settings.

So, summarily, it’s unclear what, if anything, this change will do for functionality. And that leaves speculation that it will primarily alter the visual aspects of search on a Chromebook. If that’s the case, Google may simply be looking to alter the way Chrome OS presents those results so that it’s a little clearer exactly what each shown result actually is.


This is early on in development

Whatever this new Chromebook feature turns out to be — if Google releases it at all — it’s unlikely that will be known anytime soon. As a still-unresponsive flag setting, this is still incredibly early on in terms of development. So the earliest that any changes associated with this could be seen is likely still months away.