When it comes to system-level apps, Chromebooks don’t get a ton of surprises. Things like the Files app, Settings app, and camera tend to linger in the background, getting updates when needed and generally stay out of the way. For the camera app on Chrome OS, there’s even less of an incentive to really make a splash since most Chromebooks are generally armed with a single, relatively-bad 720p webcam and that is all. With a phone in just about every pocket of every user, the use case for the camera app on a Chromebook is pretty narrow.
A recent change in the Chromium Repositories is looking to change that at least a little bit. Spotted by Android Police, there is a commit that is set to bring GIF creation to the somewhat-stale Chrome OS camera app in the future. You can see the change outlined below:
It’s a simple addition, really, but one that could be useful and fun at the same time. GIFs are – by their nature – an interesting meld of still imagery and video. They keep the smaller footprint as a photo in most cases while adding just enough animation to aptly communicate emotion and character more like a video would. I’m sure you have a favorite GIF or two that you go back to over and over again in message threads quite often. I can imagine a scenario where Chromebooks get the ability to call up the camera in the Google Messages app (just like we can on a phone) and capture a quick GIF to send in a message thread.
While not the biggest change in the world, it is clear that Google is still working on the camera for Chromebooks. Perhaps with more tablets on the way by the end of the year, we might finally get a few legit cameras in the Chrome OS space and the upcoming Expert Mode that we’ve talked about in the past for the camera app might start making a tad bit more sense. Either way, it’s nice to know that the Chrome OS camera app isn’t forgotten. There are new features coming and whether they assist in productivity or fun, they are most definitely welcome additions.