Chrome OS Commit Indicates A Demo Mode Could Be On Its Way

One of the challenges for retailers is showing off a product’s capabilities without leaving it unlocked for random interactions from store visitors.  This can lead to anything from malicious code being loaded up to a porn site loaded up in the browser.  That is where a demo mode comes in handy and, to this point, is something that has not been in Chrome OS.  But that looks to be changing.

A new commit found in the Chrome OS review Gerrit shows that a demo mode could be in the works for the platform.  This would make it immeasurably easier for retailers to setup Chromebooks in their stores that highlight what the platform can do but not leave it open to questionable activity.

The commit points to a keyboard combination to get into the demo mode that would have a workflow from the sign-in screen to get things setup.

enable-demo-mode switch turns on new demo mode feature that is under development. Ctrl+Alt+D shortcut opens new demo mode setup flow from OOBE (sign in screen). It is used for development and might change in the future.

The commit makes it clear that the new demo mode is still under development meaning that it isn’t even in the Canary channel yet.  It means that we are likely many months away (Chrome 70 in September-ish?) before we see it in the Stable channel if it actually gets implemented.  As I’ve often said, reading commits for Chrome OS and Android are a bit risky.  The code may be there but that doesn’t mean it will actually get lit up.

If it does, it would be a huge benefit for retailers who now have to go through plenty of unnatural moves to get a demo-like mode setup on a Chromebook.  It could also lead to more retailers being willing to put the devices in their stores knowing they can lock them down in a demo mode.