Back in early December, 9to5Google’s resident code sleuth Kyle Bradshaw uncovered a new feature in the works for Chrome OS that would quickly give users access to quick info about the selected text on a webpage. The flag, #enable-quick-answers, has been in the Canary channel of Chrome OS for some time now but a recent update has enabled the functionality and now we have our first look at the “quick answer” feature in action. As you can see in the image below, highlighting text on a website on Chrome OS Stable currently offers the usual options of copy, Search Google, Print and inspect.
The “quick answer” feature will now add a new option at the top of the list with a variety of resources depending on the text. Similar to the “Look Up” function on macOS, the quick answer feature for Chrome OS will offer up suggestions such as definitions, conversions and translations for words not in the user’s native language.
If no suggested result is available, there will still be an option to retrieve results directly from the Google Assistant much in the way you would voice requests on your phone. As long as the Assistant is enabled on your Chromebook, clicking “See results in Assistant” will do just that. The Assistant will slide up from the bottom of the screen and you’ll be presented with the top results, related queries, search options and more. Unfortunately for GSuite users, this feature looks to be contingent on Assistant access. So, managed devices will be left out on this one unless something changes. With Chrome OS Canary in version 81 at the moment and the feature still disabled by default, we likely won’t see this in Stable for at least a couple of months. We’ll keep an eye on the channels and let you know when it may be headed your way.