Chrome OS adding hover previews for shelf items like on Windows

Chrome OS was launched back in 2010 as Google’s desktop operating system. In the beginning, the operating system was light on features. Most tasks on the operating system required an Internet connection, as offline functionality was rarely included. This was because in the early days, Chrome OS was a desktop operating system based on the Google Chrome web browser. Its selling points were simplicity (dealing with the lack of a learning curve), as well as security.

However, Google’s cloud-based operating system has come a long way since then. Chromebooks can now run Android apps on the Play Store, and Google has added touchscreen functionality to the operating system such as a floating keyboard, split screen, and Android-like lockscreen notifications. Users can now finally record videos on Chrome OS, and the operating system will soon support a swipe gesture to close overview windows.

Chrome OS ShelfNow, a commit in the Chromium Gerrit describes another feature which will soon make its way to Chrome OS: hover previews in the shelf. Its title states: “Add a flag for shelf hover previews.”

The commit has now been merged. When the flag goes live, users will be able to enable it to enable hover previews in the Chrome OS shelf. Notably, Windows has supported this feature in the taskbar since the release of Windows 7 back in 2009, so it has taken Google’s operating system quite a while to catch up in this area.

The feature is not ground-breaking, but it’s a convenient addition for multitasking as hover previews can show a preview of the content of an app without the user having to click on the app icon in the shelf/taskbar. Users will be able to get a preview, for example, of their tabs in Google Chrome, Play Store home screen, as well as other apps on Chrome OS.

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