Chromecast-like backdrop feature coming to Chromebooks with new wallpaper picker

Chromecast-like backdrop feature coming to Chromebooks with new wallpaper picker

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Chrome OS has had a huge number of updates in recent months that aim to improve the user experience on Chromebooks. From the complicated such as on-device machine learning, to the simpler like third-party keyboard support, Google has been adding a lot recently. It’s not just new features either, as touchscreen optimizations have been making their way to Chromebooks too. Google is adding a feature inspired by the Chromecast. A new wallpaper picker is coming to the platform, according to a recent commit. Its “Surprise me” feature that appears to function like the Chromecast’s Backdrop.

The wallpaper carousel works exactly like it does on the Chromecast, with server-side chosen images being displayed on your screen. Google previously used to choose them, rather than having them automatically chosen. It’s unknown if the source of the images is the same, but it’s likely you’ll see the same images cycled through on both your Chromebook and Chromecast as they both use the Backdrop service. Google is going to be making this feature enabled by default, but for now, you’ll need to enable the #enable-new-wallpaper-picker flag in chrome://flags. The wallpaper picker itself has been improved, with larger controls and thumbnails. Touchscreen devices will also benefit from the controls at the top of your display when previewing a wallpaper. This is definitely necessary on devices like the HP Chromebook X2 and Acer Chromebook 10, which rely heavily on touch input.

Chrome os Chromebooks wallpaper picker

The wallpaper picker looks a lot better in its apparent final form and appears to be nearly ready to go. All going well, we should see it reach a stable release soon. It’s a whole lot more robust than the current wallpaper system, and the randomized images will be great for people who can’t choose a wallpaper or for people who trust Google’s choice of images. The feature will be enabled by default when it comes out, so you won’t need to enable any flags to use it on your Chromebook.

Via: About Chromebooks