I know not everyone uses their Chromebook as a tablet or even in tablet mode if it has a keyboard attached, and tablet-style Chromebooks haven’t exactly taken the world by storm, but this update is pretty fun nonetheless. While using my Lenovo Duet 3 in developer mode, I called up my keyboard to Google Search for something and encountered the following UI complete with not only rounded corners, but rounded buttons too!
I had JoJo check on her device, which is running in ChromeOS Beta, and she also had access to this new interface for the keyboard, but she had to enable a few developer flags first. The “Virtual Keyboard Round Corners” flag gave her the slick, friendly-looking buttons and corners, as you can see above.
Virtual Keyboard Round Corners
Enables round corners on the virtual keyboard. – ChromeOS#enable-cros-virtual-keyboard-round-corners
Enable new header for virtual keyboard.
Enable new header for virtual keyboard to improve navigation. – ChromeOS#enable-cros-virtual-keyboard-new-header
Additionally, she discovered that by enabling the “Enable new header for virtual keyboard” flag, which can be found right above the aforementioned one, she received a brand new keyboard top bar which revealed options for emoji, handwriting and voice input, the keyboard itself as well as a paste functionality that were no longer packed away in a collapsible toggle.
To the right of that, the new keyboard header showed a global language picker that’s accessible with one tap, the floating keyboard toggle, and a quick swap keyboard language icon that saves you from having to enter into the language picker at all. Instead, it rapidly transforms your keyboard keys right before your eyes to a secondary language you’ve added to your OS.
Below, you’ll see the design that the virtual keyboard used to have, and for many of you, the design it still utilizes. Because this update is available in Beta on ChromeOS, it shouldn’t be long before it hits the Stable, out-of-the-box experience (OOBE). Let me know in the comments if you use your Chromebook’s 4-in-1 features like tablet mode, or if you strictly type on the hardware keys.