The latest update to the Google Chrome OS Beta channel, version 35, brings App Launcher folders to the desktop by default.
Not that the feature is earth-shatteringly new or unexpected, of course. Support for creating and arranging applications into custom directories has been loitering around in the development channel and flag pages for a while now. But it’s only in this latest update that the feature has been turned on by default for beta users.
Creating folders is as straightforward as you’d hope: click-drag an application icon on top of another and a folder housing both is automatically created. More apps can be dragged and dropped into it.
Removing an item is also easy: click on the folder housing the app, find the item you want to remove and ‘tear’ it out of, and away from, the launcher. The folder will (replete with slick animation) exit to the main grid where you can then place the item.
Aura builds of Chrome on Windows and Linux are to gain support for folder creation/management in their respective app launchers in the near future, including syncing of contents, names and preferences. It’s not yet clear how, or if, the feature will be handled on Mac OS X.
Organisational offerings to one side, this beta reintroduces the much-missed ‘minimise’ window control button to application frames. The various decisions given to justify its removal never quite felt right, so seeing it put back shows that Google developers do listen to what users want.
In addition, to ‘snap’ a window the edge of your screen just long-press the ‘maximise’ button and click on (or pull towards) the left and right arrows that appear.
Elsewhere, Ok Google hot word detection has been reenabled in the App Launcher; while pesky captive portals – those annoying sign-in pop-ups that appear when connecting to WiFi networks in cafes, hotels, train stations, and the like – are now properly detected by Chrome OS, helping you get online quicker.
While you can’t see them, there are also the usual slew of under-the-hood bug fixes, security updates and performance improvements to benefit from.
Google Chrome 35 Beta is being pushed out to all Chrome devices, including the Samsung Series 3 and HP 11 Chromebooks, from today.
Want to jump aboard the beta channel? See our guide for a full how-to.