Google’s Chrome OS Launcher To Turn Chromebooks Into Touch-Friendly Devices

Google is working on a Chrome OS update that’ll make Chromebooks with touch screens easier to use.

The OS wasn’t exactly designed with touch controls in mind, but the Mountain View company seems to be changing plans with a new touch-friendly launcher.

Chrome OS Update To Bring Touch Controls To The Table

From the look of things, the new launcher is placed below the screen. When it’s pulled up, it’ll show a Google search bar and a couple of suggested apps. Now when it’s open in full by swiping up, it’ll give access to all the apps available.

Interestingly enough, it seems that when the voice search command is used, it’ll open up a new window in the Chrome browser with the user’s query keyed in.

The person behind the reveal is none other than Chromium evangelist François Beaufort, spreading the word via a Google+ post.

“The Chrome OS team is experimenting with a Touch-Friendly version of the launcher in Canary channel. Enable the chrome://flags/#enable-fullscreen-app-list flag, restart Chrome, and press the Search key to see it in action,” he says.


Chrome OS Touch-Friendly Controls Potential Release Date

For the uninitiated, Chrome has four release channels: Canary, Dev, Beta, and Stable. New features go through each one in that order.

With that cleared up, the new launcher is still in the Canary channel. That means Chromebook users won’t see a stable version just yet, but given Google’s track record, it’s a pretty safe bet to expect it to go live in about three to four months.

It should be mentioned that Canary is the channel with the latest features that undergo rigorous testing. In other words, bugs and crashes are common there.

Also, those interested in the code behind the new launcher can head on over to the Chromium Code Review page.

To boil things down, Chrome OS is getting a new launcher that’ll allow Chromebook users to use touch controls better.

Devices that come to mind here are from Acer, Asus, Samsung, and, of course, Google, particularly those that are set to get Android app support in the foreseeable future.

Before wrapping things up, don’t forget to check out our tips and tricks to make the most out of your Chromebook.

Are you excited to finally get better touch controls on your Chromebook? If so, feel free to drop by our comments section below and let us know.