Chrome OS 84 launched last week and came packed with way more features than we were expecting. With a handful of things we were expecting to ship with Chrome OS 85 showing up in 84, we’ve all been quite pleased with the new stuff available to try out and tinker with in this latest update. By far, however, my favorite new feature has to be the ability to utilize the Chrome OS overview mode the way you’d expect to with single and multi-monitor setups.
Prior to this update, overview mode was functional and helped users see all their open windows at once as expected. Other than viewing these open windows and selecting one to bring into focus, however, the feature didn’t really accomplish much else. With the ability to drag windows around in the tablet mode of Chrome OS for some time now, the clamshell version of overview mode felt limited and confining by comparison.
One of the bigger issues for me has always been the inability to simply pull windows from one display to another. Add virtual desks into this mix and getting an app from one screen on one desk to another screen on another desk was a bit convoluted to say the least. The latest update to Chrome OS 84 fixes all of this and gives users the experience they’d expect from an overview mode in every way possible.
Now, swiping 3 fingers up (or down depending on your trackpad setup) or hitting the overview key on your keyboard gives you a view that is flexible enough to work from without bouncing back and forth, in and out of overview mode just to rearrange your workspace. Instead, once you are in overview mode, you can simply grab any open window and drag it to any of your extended displays and to any of your other open virtual desks. There’s no need to jump between desks and or leave overview mode: you just grab the window and move it where you’d like it.
In addition to this, you can snap windows to the left or right side of the screen right from the overview mode as well. This has been a part of the tablet mode experience on Chrome OS for quite some time, so it is only natural that we get the option in clamshell mode as well. I don’t tend to snap windows that often, but it is nice to have the option when needed. Add this to the other shortcuts for snapping windows left or right and you get quite the assortment of window snapping abilities you expect in a modern OS.
As a person who has a particular setup in mind when I approach any Chromebook, I love the fact that I can now open all the things I’d like placed in my virtual desks across my two displays, jump to overview mode and then just drag everything into place. It’s a far more elegant solution to desktop organization than what we’ve had previously and it by far my favorite new addition to Chrome OS this time around.