The more we tinker with the latest Chrome OS Canary update, the more we discover new and exciting UI features that are going to add some pizazz to our beloved operating system. We just shared a minor update that’s coming to the lock screen of Chrome OS but in the process of publishing, I discovered what I initially thought was a glitch on my Chromebook.
My daily driver at my desk is a CTL Chromebox that I keep in the Canary channel so that I can keep an eye on updates and new features. The only drawback with this setup is that some features that are designed for Chromebook tablets and convertibles don’t make their way to the Chrome OS desktop form-factor. Features such as gestures or the touch-enabled shelf really have no place on a Chromebox so they are simply omitted.
This morning, however, I happened to plug up to a Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 that I had just moved to the Canary channel and was surprised to see some very unusual behavior from the icons on the shelf of my second display. At first glance, it appeared to be a glitch. When I hovered the shelf on my external monitor, the icons quickly slid from the center of the shelf to the right side near the system tray. After a couple of tests and multiple restarts, the “glitch” did not go away but it did change. Check out the video below to see what’s happening with the shelf in Chrome OS Canary 89.
As you can see, the shelf icons appear to be sliding from the launcher side of the shelf to their regular position in the center of the display. The animation is still a bit janky but I’m sure that is simply because this is clearly a work in progress. A couple of things to note. The animation only happens on my extended display. The internal display still shows the static icons in the center of the shelf. Also, the collapsing icons only animate when you have a window or an application open. This is simply because the Chrome OS shelf is not hidden when you have nothing open on the display.
I don’t know if there is a purpose behind this new feature other than just giving Chrome OS a polished, more-interactive UI. I also am not sure why this animation would not be included on the internal display or made to work with a Chromebox but again, this is a brand new feature and most definitely a work in progress. I like the new look and hope that this will make it to the Stable channel sooner than later. What do you think? Do you like the new looks that the development team is bringing to Chrome OS or should they just leave well enough alone?