Before the release of Windows 11, ChromeOS had, in my opinion, the best – yet simple – approach to native window management. I preferred it to Windows 10’s split screens and MacOS’ split view, which forced window pairings into full-screen mode. However, all of that changed when Windows 11 introduced Snap Layouts, giving the user more options to arrange applications and windows by hovering over the maximize button.
Though not an exact replication, ChromeOS is getting one step closer to Windows 11-esque windows management. A code change was spotted by Chrome Story, and reported on by About Chromebooks, which shows that Google is working on implementing a windows management feature that lets you split windows into thirds. Initially, the new flag in question (#partial-split) was described as “enable the option to snap windows by thirds for split view,” which can confuse when read at its face value. When I initially read it, I understood it to mean that we could split three windows and have them side by side in equal sizes. However, the most recent code change on this flag from two days ago reworded the description to say, “Enables the option to snap two windows into 2/3 and 1/3 for split view.”
What this wording change means to me is that we will still only be able to split two windows, except one will take up 2/3 of the screen, and the other will take up 1/3. This 2/3 and 1/3 view makes sense to me as sometimes I want to have a social media app open beside Chrome that can be narrower and give that extra space to Chrome. I can think of countless other app combinations that can benefit from such a layout as well.
There is no additional information available yet on this flag beside the description above, so it is unclear how exactly this will be implemented. However, how I imagine this could work is that once you start dragging your window to one side to snap it, you will be shown three different overlays with snapping options: a third screen split, a half screen split, and a two-third screen split.
However the implementation turns out to be, I will be really happy once I am able to split my windows into thirds without having to eye-ball them and resize them manually. The flag is not yet present in any of the public versions of ChromeOS, so we’ll just have to be patient and wait for it to surface, hopefully in version 104.