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Chrome OS Adds ‘Close’ Buttons to Expose Mode, Other Changes in Latest Dev Update

Another update to the Chrome OS Dev channel was pushed out this week and while it doesn’t come packed with huge changes there are some notable improvements to be found. 

What follows are just a handful of changes that you can expect to find after updates. If you’re on the Stable or Beta channels most of what you see will filter down in the coming months but, and it’s important to know, not everything that appears in dev sticks around — so don’t get upset if in three months time you still don’t have some of this to play with!

Overview Mode Improvements

Screenshot 2014-03-28 at 00.14.08

I’m a sucker for the window spread features. It makes managing multiple apps much easier than hunting and pecking an icon on the app shelf.

In the latest dev update Chrome has introduced the ability to close windows directly from the overview — handy.  Coupled with the three-finger swipe gesture to open and close it, this feature is becoming indispensable.

Standalone Video Player

As we wrote about earlier in the week, Chrome has split out the video player from the Files.app file manager and into its own standalone window. That change features in this update. Expect a more refined UI and new features to appear in it in the coming months.

Flagged Features

In addition to stuff you can actually use without enabling flags, there are a tonne of experimental features you can try.

Teleported Saucers

For example, if you have the new multi-profile management malarky enabled you’ll find that profile badges now appear in circular discs rather than, as previously, squares, on teleported windows.

chrome://flags/#enable-multi-profiles

Settings Wrapper

In a change the average user will welcome, developers are considering having the ‘Settings’ page open in a standalone window rather than a new tab. Why? According to the bug report for the issue it’s because ‘Chrome OS users find [it opening in a tab] confusing’.

To try it for yourself, head to:

chrome://flags/#enable-settings-window

Overview Button

Further to the Overview changes above, if you’re trialling the experimental ‘always maximised’ mode (aimed at touch input) you’ll find a button to trigger it in the system tray area.

Want to give it a whirl?

chrome://flags/#ash-enable-touch-view-testing
H/t Francois Beaufort
  • jason

    Would love to see the window spread include each tab opened in the browser, so I know what websites I have opened.

    • Boothy

      Personally I wouldn’t, as I tend to run most things in a window, but with a flag control, why not.
      Choice is never bad :)

    • David

      I actually ran into this issue last night, and I can say from my experience that this would be a great addition to the spread. :)

  • Ryan Howard

    I want to be able to use Google drive and Google music offline, and pin want you want use offline.

    • Boothy

      You can already (sort of)

      • David

        True, but I think Ryan is describing that he wants to have his Drive file stored locally and have them sync with the Web, much like Drive does on Windows and Mac. I definitely agree with him, too, because with the other platforms having this feature, you’d think that Chrome OS would take that a step further. Hopefully this sort of functionality comes in an update.

  • Local

    When will we be able to make a backup of our Google Drive files on an external hard drive?

  • Joseph

    How long will it take until they allow us to right click an image to set as the wallpaper? Seems like such a basic feature.