In Chrome OS Canary or Dev right now, a new developer flag called Focus Follows Cursor will cause your mouse cursor to automatically focus and activate whatever open window you’re hovering over. As you can see in the example below, I hover over Google Docs and then over the Chromebook’s text app to demonstrate how the cursor begins to blink in each one accordingly and allows me to paste text without clicking whatsoever.
Enable window focusing by moving the cursor. – Chrome OSchrome://flags/#focus-follows-cursor
By visiting the developer flags section of your browser at chrome://flags and enabling this, followed by a quick restart, you’ll also be able to enjoy this new feature. There’s no word on when this will come to everyone via Chrome OS Stable – the out-of-the-box experience all users receive with their devices, but when it does (probably over the next few months), I feel this may give users mixed feelings.
My hope is that many will see the value in the cursor being more intelligent without user intervention (clicking), but I also understand that the intentionality of clicking to activate windows prevents accidental actions like pasting content in the wrong browser window, and so on. As with many new Chromebook features, I hope that there is a toggle to enable or disable this, and I feel fairly confident that this may be an accessibility option in the Settings app once it rolls out.
The mouse cursor’s focus following the window will not bring that window to the forefront, according to the Chromium Repository entry on the matter. Instead, it will allow you to interact with it without clicking, and leave it under other windows it’s ordered behind. Also, if you move your cursor to the desktop, the focus will remain on the last window you hovered over. Are you a fan of this ‘sloppy focus’ model, or do you prefer to click everything? Let me know in the comments!
Credit: Chrome Story