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Application Overview Mode Arrives in Latest Chrome OS Stable Update

Chrome Overview Mode

Overview mode has been enabled by default in the latest update to the stable channel of Chrome OS.

After updating to Chrome OS 32 users can quickly view all open windows and applications by tapping the [    ]]] key on a Chromebook keyboard or using a three-finger downwards swipe gesture on supported trackpads.

Repeating the gesture, clicking outside the overview area, or selecting a window tile all exit the overview mode.

If you routinely have multiple windows, apps and browser sessions running at once this feature should make it easier to find the window you need and quickly switch to it.

Below is a video of the feature as it looked when it had just arrived in Dev channel:

Helpfully the Chrome System tray, shelf, message centre and app launcher all remain accessible in overview mode.

Developers plan on adding close buttons to window previews in a future update.

Other notable changes arriving in Chrome OS 32 include:

  • Tab indicators for music, video, screensharing and webcam use
  • Misc. updates to, including new loading animations
  • Decode support for .wav files
  • Guest accounts can no longer adjust Shelf position
  • Syncing of user account pictures (default and Google+, not custom images)
  • Supervised User support
  • Sync and authentication failure notifications
  • ‘Help App’ now features ‘discover’ section
  • Will Palmer

    Your title and caption for the first photo contradict. Is this a dev or stable channel feature? Thanks in advance.

    • It’s new to stable. The video was filmed when the feature had arrived in dev.

  • Wesley Files

    Glad to have this three finger gesture back, though it looked quite different the last time I was on Beta. I guess it was before “packaged apps” so they could expect all the “windows” to be the very same size for the sliding animation.

  • Ibu

    So before I used to be able to switch between applications, or windows, by pressing multiple times on the [ ]]] key. But now all it does is put me into overview mode, and pressing another time just brings me back to the original application I was in, rather than switch. Basically I think this key lost all its purpose now. If it is that I have to use the trackpad, I might as well use the three fingers gesture to start with.

    • Mik Furie

      You can ALT+TAB to swap between open applications or CTRL+TAB to swap between open tabs, if you want to keep using the keyboard.

      • Ibu

        Thanks Mik. I’m a bit sad to use some windows combinations on chrome os but it’s better than nothing!

        • artlukm2

          FWIW, gnu/linux also uses alt+tab, and mac uses cmd+tab, so it kinda makes sense as a universal standard.