After settling in as a core feature of Chrome OS, it seems Google isn’t satisfied leaving well enough alone. Work is ongoing on a few different fronts to bring more features and productivity boosts to Chrome OS’ virtual desks feature, and this latest one will be very useful indeed. Work is already in progress on speeding up the virtual desk transition animations and the possibility of more than 4 virtual desktops is coming in a future update too, but it would seem there is more work to be done.
Right now, you can use keyboard shortcuts to move windows from one virtual workspace to the next, adjacent one. With a simple SHIFT + SEARCH + [ or ], the window you have in focus will move the the neighboring desk with a slick little animation. It’s quicker than going into overview mode and dragging your desk to the next window, but only by a bit.
The addition we’re tracking right now in the Chromium Repositories is about to take this up a big notch. Instead of a keyboard shortcut, this is nestled in a context menu. And instead of only moving windows to the next desk, this will be able to fling them to whichever desk you choose. There’s even a video nested in the bug report that shows us exactly what this new navigation will look like in practice. Check it out!
From the looks of it, users will be able to right-click on the top bar of a window or click the 3-dot button to see a new item in the related context menu. From there, hovering over the ‘Assign to desk’ item gives the user a fly-out menu with a list of open desk where the window can land. Select your desk and off goes the window to its new location. For quick sorting of open windows on a disheveled desktop, this will make for quick cleanup.
With faster desk-to-desk animation, more desks to leverage, and now easier content management all on the way, virtual desks on Chrome OS is about to go from pretty good to pretty fantastic. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing work continue on a feature that feels ‘finished’ in many ways. There’s almost always room for improvement, and refinements are a good sign of maturity. I’m looking very forward to these upgrades for one of my favorite Chromebook features.