Thanks to our friend C2 Productions over on Twitter, we’ve been made aware that Google is testing a new ChromeOS flag that will plug Google Image search directly into your device’s app launcher. More specifically, the company is testing whether or not it’s viable to show you Google Image Search results directly in the ‘Everything button’ where you normally search for apps, files, and more.
Productivity Launcher experiment: Launcher Image Search
To evaluate the viability of image search as part of Productivity Launcher Search. – ChromeOS#productivity-launcher-image-search
At this time, the flag is available in the Developer Channel of the operating system but is not yet working. Because of the way that the flag’s description is worded, there’s no guarantee that showing web images directly through the launcher as you search for things will even be a good idea.
With that in mind, I do have a few thoughts on this. First, I think it would be awesome to see this functional and to test it out. Second, I do believe it would be beneficial to the end user insomuch that they can get to information much quicker. Think about how Google Assistant presents information without taking you to a Chrome browser tab initially – this seems like it would work, so long as there’s enough space to comfortably display said images in such a compact launcher without screwing up the experience.
Lastly, I think the reason Google is doing this is that the company has been obsessed with shoving Lens in every facet of its products – from Android to the Chrome browser’s Side Panel and even Google Image Search itself. It’s not inconceivable that it also wants to include the awesome tool directly in the ChromeOS launcher and even plop the colorful Lens icon right next to the Assistant logo on the search bar itself.