Thanks to a little bit of testing by Dinsan Francis over at Chrome Story, we are getting our first glimpses of what Chrome OS’ newest productivity tool – the Enhanced Clipboard – will look like once it arrives in a future version of Chrome OS. We’ve talked about the addition of this feature before, but just a couple weeks ago it was a code commit and an idea. Now we have a working example in the Canary Channel of Chrome OS, so let’s take a quick look at what Dinsan was able to get working so far.
I’m already loving how simple the interface is for this new feature, giving users a simple material design menu to choose from when hitting the SEARCH + V combo in a text field. You’ll see up to your last 5 items that have been recently copied and, while I’d like the option to expand that just a bit, it is a big step up from the single item we get right now. Many will also note the similarity between this shortcut and a standard paste shortcut (CTRL + V), further assisting users in remembering how to quickly access this feature when it does arrive.
You’ll note in the video that the menu shows up graphically at this point, but it doesn’t fully work just yet. These things are completely expected in the Canary Channel, though, and it is encouraging to already see the UI in place for this updated clipboard as we are hoping to see it in either Chrome OS 85 or 86 later in 2020.
One other peculiar thing to note with this one: the name change. If you recall in the first post about this upcoming feature, the flag was initially titled Enable Multipaste and, while that title fit just fine, the Chrome OS team has completely changed the verbiage around this new functionality. It is now listed under a new name with a new description.
Productivity Experiment: Enable Enhanced Clipboard
Enables an experimental clipboard history which aims to reduce context switching. After copying to the clipboard, press search + v to show the history. Selecting something from the menu will result in a paste to the active window.
If you aren’t familiar with Chrome flags, they are by definition experiments. Right up at the top of the chrome://flags page, it says so. Google took the time to rename this particular flag and then put “Productivity Experiment” in front of the title as well. Again, given the fact that this is a flag, it is already understood that this would be an experimental feature, so why the additonal title? Honestly, we’re not sure, but it could mean that Google is looking to add a few other “Productivity Experiments” to the mix and have them all fall under the same project. I can’t see any other reasoning for adding this to the title at this point, but we could be way off here, as well. It’s just a title after all, so I don’t want to read to much into it.
Either way, it looks like the new clipboard manager is progressing quickly and should arrive in the next few updates of Chrome OS. We’ll keep an eye on this one as it likely will move down through the channels in the coming weeks. For those of you less daring, we’ll update when it arrives in a less-experimental build of the OS like the Beta or Developer Channels. As a feature that could save many users like myself a ton of steps, I’m very much looking forward to this one becoming part of my everyday tools.