Touch-Friendly Launcher Features are coming to more Chrome OS devices


Touchscreens have become more common on Chromebooks in the last couple of years. The Pixelbook is one of the best examples of a great Chromebook with a touchscreen. The Pixelbook received a new touch-friendly launcher in Chrome OS 61. It looks more like an Android phone launcher with a search bar at the top and big app icons in 5 columns. The launcher has slowly rolled out to more Chromebooks, and now it looks like it will be the default.

A new commit in Chromium Gerrit is titled Enabling all touch-friendly launcher features by default. That’s pretty self-explanatory, but here is the full commit #678735:

Enabling all touch-friendly launcher features by default.

– This reverts commit 2f873e14c7ef408a7c55697b8e166bb46e3bfdcd,
“cros:Enable PlaystoreSearch and AnswerCards by Default on Eve Only”.
– Full-screen is already ON, blur is ON on selected devices.
Enabling for Answer Cards and Play Store app searching.

This will be landed when prod server is 100%.

“Eve” is a reference to the Pixelbook. Previously, the Pixelbook was the only device with these features by default. “AnswerCards” are the cards that appear in the launcher when the user presses the Search key. “PlaystoreSearch” is exactly what it sounds like. On certain devices, Chrome Web Store search is replaced by the Play Store. Expect to see both of these features, along with other touch improvements, on more Chrome OS devices.

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