Submit News Alternative Tip Form

Chrome OS Overview Mode Adds Text Filtering in Latest Dev Release

Sifting through your apps and browser windows is about to get easier in Chrome OS. 

The latest developer channel release of the operating system adds text filtering to the overview spread to, Chrome developers say, ‘make it easier to select among multiple active items.’

In use the filter couldn’t be easier to try: press the [  ]] key on a Chrome keyboard (or swipe down with three fingers on a touchpad/touchscreen) to trigger the overview. Then, just start typing.

The filter gets to work instantly, highlighting matched windows with a black overlay. Hitting enter will bring the nearest match into focus. Apps and browsers that are not relevant to the text entered are rendered semi-transparent and cannot be selected.

overview mode image

Overview Mode – now with filtering

Visually it’s clearly early days for the feature. The on-screen text is small, hard to see and out of alignment with the rest of the screen. The lack of a discernible input field to denote the purpose of the text (given that window labels in the overview appear the same) is also off-putting.

For performance reasons the filter has not (yet) been hooked up to search through individual tabs. As such, it will only sort through active browser windows, running Chrome Apps, and panels or extension pop-outs.

The feature is readily available to try in the latest Chrome OS Dev release, no flags needed. Beta and Stable channel users can expect to see it trickle down to them in a few months, likely after the visual story has been refined a little.

Chrome Windows 8 Mode will also ship with the feature in a future dev channel release.

  • Kenny Strawn

    I wonder if Mission Control has a similar searching functionality…

    • Regz

      Install ubuntu ;) just joking, but yes I think that it’s a most have on all the recent OS

      • Regz

        I misunderstood, I’ve switched wonder and hope in my head :)

  • Ankit Pati

    This reminds of the Ubuntu (Super + W) typeahead searching. Works only on Unity, though, not on the second class DEs!

    • Heimen Stoffels

      GNOME Shell also has the same kind of feature with a shortcut, as does Enlightenment.

  • Heimen Stoffels

    You mean Swipe Up. At least on my Samsung Chromebook 2 I have to slide up with 3 fingers on the touchpad.

    • Frederic MANSON

      Thanks for the tip!!

      One question: I do not understand well the typing when I use this overview. I just type the app name or screen’s app I need??

    • miri

      It depends on your scrolling direction. If you have it on the default, it’s a swipe down. If you’re a sane person and have it on Australian, it’s a swipe up.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        Oh, like so. Thank you. That’s why it’s different with mine. #ILoveAustralianScrolling

  • Frederic MANSON

    It’s already working on the last update: Version 36.0.1985.138, Platform 5841.83.0 (Official Build) stable-channel daisy_spring, Firmware Google_Spring.3824.129.0. It’s a 3-fingers Swipe Up on the HP 11.

    What strange is that I was required to restart my Chromebook with the last two days updates… I have used the dev channel once for a try. I hope that this try out has not modified the Chromebook setting (I saw nothing).