Google Sans Font is Coming According to a Chrome OS Commit

Chrome OS Normal Theme

A new Chrome OS Commit is pointing to the new Google Sans coming to Chrome OS in the near future.  The new font is one that Google has been rolling out to a wide range of their apps and sites over the course of the past few months and is seemingly tied closely to the whole Material Design makeover that the company has been doing at the same time.

The font isn’t a far cry from the standard Google font but is a thinner version and frankly, fits Material Design exceptionally well.

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Chrome OS Commit Suggests Continue Reading of A Site From Chrome for Android

All Open Windows View in Chrome OS

A new commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit suggests that the ability to continue reading a tab open in Chrome for Android on your Chromebook is coming.  The commit indicates that users will be able to start reading content on a site on their Android device then be able to move it to Chrome on their Chromebook to continue reading.

The concept is not new.  Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS has the ability to send a page you are reviewing to your PC via a button in the browser.  Microsoft calls this Continuum and it is a great feature for PC users.

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Android App Shortcuts Coming to Chrome OS

Android Oreo App Shortcuts

Based on a new Chrome OS commit in the Chromium Gerrit, and further support from Chrome OS evangelist François BeaufortAndroid App Shortcut support is coming to the platform and likely soon.  The commit points to right-click support for Android apps in the platform to allow for users to access the app shortcuts for apps that support the feature.

For those who may not know, Android app shortcuts allow you to get to a quick action within an app simply by long tapping it on your Android phone or tablet.  The feature became available in Android Nougat 7.1 but really didn’t start to gain traction until Oreo was released last year.

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Chrome OS Commits Suggest Nearby API is Coming to Chromebooks

Chromium Icon

Two new commits in the Chrome OS Gerrit suggest that the Nearby Connections API that is currently in Android is going to be coming to the platform.  The first commit points to the actual import of the Nearby API code into the Chrome OS platform while the second commit more clearly outlines the need for classes within the platform code structure to support Nearby.

Right now the Nearby API is pretty limited in functionality on Android.  The idea long term is to allow for devices near each other to quickly share information or, through beacons, get information about a location or event that you happen to be near.  Rarely does it get used these days but Google is continue to develop the API, it is up to version 2.0 now, and developers are slowly beginning to implement it.

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Code Commit Suggest Google Assistant to Merge With Chrome OS Notification Area

Chromium Icon

A new comment and code commit found in the Chrome OS Gerrit suggests that a merger of Google Assistant and the native notification are of the platform are to be merged.  The merging is aimed to make the notification the one area where you interact with all your notifications and Assistant and could be paving the way for a broader Google Assistant rollout in the platform.

Today, Google Assistant is only available on the Google Pixelbook and has both a dedicated button to access (although it can be configured to respond to “Hey Google”) and a dedicate area where it pops up when accessed.   There is a screenshot after the break for those that don’t have a Pixelbook.

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Chrome OS Files App Slated for Linux and Android Centric Improvements

Files app in Chrome OS

With Android app support already there and Linux support on its way, Chrome OS has a platform is evolving quickly.  That evolution means that how we view and use our Chromebook has to change too, particularly the Files app.  A new commit and a new flag in the Chrome OS Dev Channel gives us a solid clue as to where the file management app built into the platform is heading.

The commit points to there being a revamp of the Files app to allow for four distinct sections:  My Drive (Google Drive and Team Drive if you have a G Suite account), Linux files, Android Files, and File System Providers like Microsoft’s OneDrive or Dropbox.

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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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