What do you want to know
- Google may be working on adding “visible” widgets to Chrome OS devices.
- At least one weather tile and a clock widget are apparently in the maps.
- If this feature is implemented, pop-up widgets will make Chromebook desktops much more useful.
One of the Pixel phone’s most useful features, which displays contextual information on its home screen, appears to be coming to Chromebooks, if new evidence is any indication.
Google has been spotted developing a ‘visible’ widget for the home screen of the Chrome OS device, as spotted by 9to5Google (opens in a new tab). The evidence was discovered in a Chromium Gerrit, along with a recording that shows a preview of the feature in question.
Based on code found in Chromium Gerrit, Google appears to be working on at least two desktop widgets, namely a clock and a weather tile. You’ll probably be able to arrange these widgets in a grid so they take up a tile, just like on Android phones. It also looks like the weather tile will follow the weather information that’s displayed on the Chrome OS screensaver, though slight design and layout changes are to be expected based on the larger screens of Chromebooks.
However, the design of the feature is not yet visible to the public, which makes it difficult to predict what Google has up its sleeve regarding these “sneak peeks”.
Currently, you can’t place anything on a Chromebook’s desktop screen, unlike other operating systems, such as Windows and macOS. But if the search giant rolls out the feature, Chromebook desktop screens will finally be useful after being just a blank space for so long.
The Pixel phone’s At a Glance widget lets you see contextual information on your home screen, such as weather data and an upcoming Google Meet call. The feature recently gained new features, such as smart video doorbell previews and earthquake alerts for specific states.
You can imagine a Chrome OS desktop widget capturing similar functionality. That said, it may take a while before we finally see this feature arrive on most top Chromebooks.