Chrome OS 81 brings Android-like gesture navigation and touch-friendly browser tabs
Most people’s experience with Chrome OS is through the aptly named Chromebooks. These laptop devices are often very affordable and offer traditional keyboard and trackpad navigation. In recent years we’ve seen Chrome OS devices with touchscreens, some of which are keyboard-less tablets. Google has been trying to make Chrome OS better for these devices and the recent update brings Android-like gesture navigation.
Chrome OS 81’s new gestures look like a hybrid between iPad OS and Android 10. You can go to the home screen with a swipe up from the bottom of the display. A smaller swipe up will bring up your “Quick Shelf” (a.k.a. dock). Swipe up and hold to see all the windows and apps open in a multitasking view. Swipe from the left side of the display to return to the previous page.
Chrome OS Gestures:
- Full swipe up: go home
- Swipe up and hold: app switcher
- Left swipe: previous page
- Short swipe up: open Quick Shelf
Chrome OS 81 has another new feature for tablets as well. There’s a new “tab strip” that shows your tabs in bigger previews at the top of the browser when in tablet mode. The larger previews and New Tab button should be much easier to use on a touchscreen. This feature will be coming to the Lenovo Chromebook Duet first and other devices later on. Google temporarily paused Chrome OS updates a couple of weeks ago, but they are now moving forward with releases on an altered schedule.