Gesture navigation coming to Chrome OS for the first time letting users control their touchscreen laptops with finger swipes just like on tablets and smartphones
- Google’s Chrome OS 80 will include a limited number of touchscreen gestures
- The operating system for Chromebook laptops and Androids is currently in beta
- The OS will be released to the full public on February 11, 2020
The next version of Google’s Chrome OS will support a limited number of touchscreen gestures to control laptops or tablets that use the operating system, something that should be familiar to most smartphone and tablet users.
The new gesture system will be included as a standard part of Chrome OS 80, which is currently in beta testing in advance of a public release on February 11, 2020.
Chrome OS 80 will support four new gestures, including swiping from left to right to take users back to a previous screen, and a short upward swipe will bring up the app shelf menu at the bottom of the screen.
Google is beta testing a new suite of touchscreen gestures to make controlling Chrome OS more convenient
A long swipe upward from the bottom of the screen will clear all currently open apps and take users back to the home screen.
Finally, swiping upward from the bottom of the screen and leaving your finger pressed on the screen will bring up an overview screen showing all currently open app windows.
To enable the gestures, according to a report from Android Police, users will have to turn on the modular shelf flag in the system settings.
The new gesture system comes just a few months after Google introduced another even ambitious gestural control system to its Pixel 4 phones.
Using an embedded radar chip, the new phones interpret user hand gestures without them even touching the device.
Chrome OS 80 will support four new touch gestures that will work for Chromebooks that have touchscreens and tablets that run Chrome OS
Through a feature called Motion Sense, the Pixel 4 lets users skip forward or backward while listening to music, or dismiss incoming calls by waving their hands horizontally above the screen, either left to right or right to left.
The radar chip also supports some subtler features, including the ability to turn off the screen and save battery power whenever the use had left the sensor’s immediate field.
The sensor could also sense when the user had returned to the field and was beginning to reach for their phone, allowing the handset to automatically turn the screen at the same time as the user is reaching for the phone.
WHAT GESTURES WILL CHROME OS 80 INCLUDE?
Quickly swiping upward will bring up the app shelf, Chrome OS’s equivalent of the macOS Dock or Windows task bar.
Swiping up from the bottom of the screen to the top will clear all open apps and bring up the Home screen.
Swiping up and holding your finger on the screen will show all currently open apps.
Swiping from left to right will take users back one screen.