While tinkering around in Chrome OS Canary 98, I happened upon a new Chrome developer flag called Personalization Hub UI. Once I enabled it, I was able to visit chrome://personalization to receive the app container you see below. While there’s not anything going on here yet, the flag description itself is telling.
Personalization Hub UI
Enable the UI to let users customize their wallpaper, screensaver, and avatars. – Chrome OS#personalization-hub
That’s right – Google is toying with the idea of combining the account image selection and screensaver options with the new wallpaper picker app! This will be rebranded as “Personalization Hub”, and will be accessible from all the same means you currently pull up the wallpaper app. Right-clicking on the wallpaper itself or even the shelf, or visiting it through the personalization settings in the Settings app.
Obviously, this is in super early development, but just as with Chrome OS for Kids and other tools we’ve covered here in the past, they’ve come to fruition with a little time and elbow grease on behalf of the development team. I can’t wait to see what Personalization Hub ends up looking like when it’s finished.
The goal will be to combine all of these elements to allow users to add a more personal touch to their devices without adding unnecessary bloat. Any time Google messes with something in Chrome OS, it at first feels like a hot mess, but after its vision comes to fruition, it ends up being a much-needed advancement in how its tools are presented and used.
If the beauty and simplicity of the new Wallpaper Picker experiment is anything to go on, on top of the fact that the company recently added 14 new animated account images to choose from (and it may include the new Google Illustrations tool in the future), and the ambient mode became an official screensaver for the OS after years of users begging for one, I think this new Personalization Hub is going to be fantastic.
Since each Virtual Desk is now also going to allow you to have a different wallpaper, and you’ll even be able to select wallpapers directly from Google Photos, I think that the Hub will have a variety of options more – more than we may think, actually. My guess is that it will be plenty packed with great tools and preferences, but I want to hear your thoughts. Do you think that accessing all of this from one centralized location will be an improvement on the current design, or are you afraid it will be overly cluttered? Drop a comment below and let’s have a discussion!