Virtual Desks on Chrome OS have become a staple feature since they were basically finalized in March earlier this year. Like many users, I take advantage of the productivity boost I get from them on a daily basis as they allow for a wide variety of open windows and apps to be strategically placed for quick access with a simple swipe or key combo. Simply put: I love them and think most people should adopt them, too.
We reported on a feature in the works that was set to update the way Virtual Desks animate in Chrome OS and that flag/feature has landed in the Canary Channel as of yesterday. First, a quick recap on what it does as quoted by my favorite writer:
This upcoming change should allow users to move from desk to desk with much less time between animations, meaning if you are on desk 1 and need to skip right to desk 4, you can hit that keyboard shortcut 3 times in succession and land right on the desk you need without waiting for animations to load each time. For users that are invested in using Virtual Desks on their Chromebook, this tiny change could go a long way towards saving us all quite a bit of time. We’ll be on the lookout for this change to be merged and will give it a try in the Canary Channel as soon as we see it arrive.via Robby Payne – Chrome Unboxed
When I wrote the above-mentioned post, I honestly thought this would be a nice tweak and upgrade, but not that wildy-useful change that it turned out to be. When enabled, this change to Virtual Desks makes it so much faster to move through desks with the keyboard or trackpad that it just makes you want to leverage it more often. I didn’t realize how slowly the switch desk animation was until the delay was removed. Now I don’t want to go back.
It needs to be said that the 4-finger trackpad shortcut tries to work as well and there’s a commit showing that work is being done on that option, but it is very broken for now. I crashed my Chromebook multiple times trying to move around quickly through my open desks via trackpad, but the keyboard shortcut works perfectly and is insanely fast, too. We’re very much looking forward to this feature getting cleaned up and heading to the Stable Channel soon.