A new Chrome OS commit in the Chromium Gerrit suggests that Android-like swipe actions could be making their way to the platform in the near future. The commit calls for “scrolling and gesture fling events should follow the same curve used by android in order to have a smoother and more fluid experience” which should make system level gestures more accessible and more natural for Android users. In will feel and function the same on a Chromebook as it does a phone is the general idea.
These new gestures would be enabled when the Chromebook is in tablet mode when they make their way to the platform. They also appear to be system level changes so these gestures would work across Chrome OS, not just in the browser. In theory at least.
As with all readings of the Chrome OS commits out there, the questions always come down to timings of a release and what devices. Clearly given that this is aimed at devices that can become a tablet – by detaching a keyboard or folding back on it – touchscreen for this is nearly a must although it could be done with a touchpad. As for when we see this? Who knows. Given that it is now committed, that’s a good sign but there have been no signed of this feature coming in the Chrome OS Dev channel to this point and there are technical hurdles that have to be cleared for this to work.
At best, I would suggest we are at the end of 2018 before we see this feature roll out.