Chrome OS Commit Suggests Android-Like Swipe Actions Coming Soon

Google Pixelbook Chrome OS Interface

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.

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Chrome OS Commit Points to Android Messages Integration

Google Pixelbook Chrome OS Interface

A new Chrome OS commit suggests that integration with Android Messages could be on its way to the platform.  The wording of the commit suggests that it will be a feature flag, at least in the beginning, but there are no details on how to enable the flag or when it will appear in a Chrome OS build.

Integration with Android Messages would allow for users to have their SMS/MMS messages on their Android phone running Messages to be sync’d with their Chromebook, thus allowing you to respond from your Chromebook without having to actually pick up your phone.  In theory, it works on the same principle as what you can do with Hangouts Classic before SMS support was removed (but it still works for Project Fi users) between your phone and your Chromebook.

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Files App in Chrome OS Canary Channel Showing Android App Files

Files app in Chrome OS

The alchemy melding of Chrome OS and Android show no real signs of letting up and the latest example that is in the Chrome OS Canary Channel may be one of the most useful yet.  In the Canary Channel, when you open up the Files app to view files, you will now also see Android app related files with an appropriate flag enabled.  It means, for the first time, you can actually see the files associated with Android apps on your Chromebook all in one place.

The flag is -show-android-files-in-files-app and right now, it is only in the Canary Channel.  That means, roughly, that it is based in Chrome 69 which isn’t due out until September 11th of this year.  In other words, we’ve got a ways to go but the fact it is there is great news.  If you want to read the code commit, you can do that here.

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Chrome OS Hardware Commit Points to a 4K Resolution Chromebook

Left Side Ports Detail of The Pixelbook

A new commit in the Chrome OS hardware Gerrit points to something quite exciting for Chromebook users:  A 4K resolution device.  The new commit points to a device that is codenamed “Atlas” and it supports a native resolution of 3840 x 1260.  When “Atlas” makes it to the market, it will be the first device to support native 4K.

Right now, a resolution of 2400 x 1600 is the highest resolution support.  That is supported on a number of devices including Google’s own Pixelbook.  Bumping things up to 4K however would make Chrome OS a viable video streaming source and would give users maximum visual real estate when they connect it up to a 4K monitor.

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New Commit Suggests ARCore is Coming to Chrome OS

ARCore Logo

If there is any doubt that the growth of Chrome OS is going beyond simply being another OS alternative, spend some time in the Chrome OS commit Gerrit and you will see that the plans are big for the platform.  The latest proofpoint?  This commit.

It seems that ARCore, the Augmented Reality API and framework that is currently in Android, is coming to Chrome OS.  While there is no indicator of when we will see ARCore in the platform, the fact that it is being weaved into it is critical as tablet form factors start coming to market.

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Chrome OS Canary Channel Has a New Keyboard Shortcut Viewer

Chrome OS Canary Material Design Keyboard Shortcut Viewer

A new and much improved Keyboard Shortcut Viewer is coming to Chrome OS.  In the Chrome OS Canary Channel, which is currently running a pre-alpha build of Chrome 67, the viewer has been radically updated to a Material Design look and feel.

The find comes from long time platform evangelist François Beaufort via his Google+ profile.  François is one of the best sources for what is coming in the Canary channel and this is another great example of it.

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New Commit Points to Lock Screen Notifications in Chrome OS

Left Side Ports Detail of The Pixelbook

The continued interweaving of Chrome OS and Android looks to be taking another step forward, but it will be a while for this one.  A new commit points to Chrome OS getting Android-like lock screen notifications.  In theory, it would function much like they do on Android, allowing for the message center to be visible while your Chromebook is locked.

The new ability would come via a flag that would be aptly named enable-lock-screen-notification and would give users notifications on their lock screen for the user that is logged into the device.

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