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3 Minor Chrome OS UI Changes on the Way

A handful of minor, but notable, changes to the Chrome OS UI are on their way.

Redesigned assets for the App Launcher and System Tray will be arriving in updates set to arrive shortly. Work on removing ‘callouts’ from menu and launcher tooltips is also underway.

App Launcher

Following the unlocking of the Chrome icon from the left-hand side of the launcher the Chrome App Launcher will be moving into its place.

As well as a repositioning it will also gain a new blue ‘background state’ when the launcher is opened or called into ‘focus’ by a shortcut.

Chrome OS App Launcher

Launcher icon moved to left-hand-side and given new background

System Tray

The System Tray will also be receiving a revised clicked-state background.

Chrome OS System Tray - Colourful

Chrome OS System Tray – Colourful


When clicking on the system tray, or long-pressing an app icon on the launcher, a small arrow is shown at the bottom of the menus. These are also being removed. Menus will instead appear with flat bottoms, much like the App Launcher on Windows and OS X. 


Menu ‘Spikes’ are to be removed

  • Guest

    Sounds good.

  • Simon King

    Sounds good.. Each change Google are making is refining the experience.

  • I’m not very sure about removing menu spikes just for the sake of other operating systems :-

    • Jonathan Alfonso

      Agreed, I like my spike :(

  • Jonah Brown

    At least ChromeOS keeps itself updated and improves user UI, faster than most other systems.

  • Naga Tudor

    Im glad that we dont have to wait 1 year to recieve a must needed feature also I like these new changes

  • I have yet to be able to move the chrome icon to the right; and I have yet to even make use of the notification center. My chromebook is up to date, and is the (relatively) new ARM based one.

    • James Fowler Jr.

      I have the same machine and I get gmail and twitter updates on my notifications

      • yet I have not, for either one. really quite frustrating.

      • and the weird part is..I checked the settings for notifications. “tweetdeck” and “gmail” is selected.

        I may have to do a clean install.

  • Peter

    Its really good that Google is making these changes. It would be nice to see some work put into the File Manager. IMHO this is the worst aspect of ChromeOS. It would be nice to see a modern two-pane style file manager like xplorer2 for Windows ( Even the ability to properly sort folders then files would be really nice. That said, its still a really good system.

    • Phil Oakley

      The file manager has been completely revamped in Chrome OS 28.

  • Jordan R

    it would be great if the ARM chrome book didnt suck at viewing photos from usb, or by card or even downloaded on the ssd. so much lag but when you load linux on it they load fine so the hardware can handle it

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      Slow? Do you have a refurbished model by any chance? Mine runs damn fast and copies photos off my cameras SD card faster than I can blink.

      • Jordan R

        not copying i am talking about viewing them. mine was purchased new when they first came out. when you browse the photos and go to the next picture its horribly slow. i have seen this on every arm chromebook i have touched.

        • disqus_sE7lPv1F2m

          Images load quite slow on my ARM Chromebook as well. Copying (via USB 3.0) is fast, the display is slow.

          • Jordan R

            yeah same here. I will check on the swap feature

          • Morgan

            Same. I have swap enabled

        • Sebastiaan Franken

          Weird. Displaying my photos is just as fast as copying them. I feel no lag whatsoever, but I have enabled the “swap” feature. Maybe that helps?

  • Gabe Ojeda

    When does this update come out?