Google has started working on a project to add glanceable widgets to the ChromeOS desktop that may function as a large-screen variant of the Pixels At A Glance widget.
The presence of an At A Glance widget on the home screen is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Pixel line of smartphones. Since last year, that area has become substantially smarter, with options for food deliveries, commuter information, and air quality warnings.
Google now appears to be getting ready to introduce at least some of these ambient smarts to Chromebooks. This week’s new code change introduces the idea of glanceables for ChromeOS. Fortunately, there is an older prototype that provides a more thorough overview of what to anticipate.
The widgets on ChromeOS will be arranged in a grid, much like the home screen on Android, with each glanceable acting as a tile in the grid. We currently just have a clock and a weather tile as examples of what could be included in these desktop widgets. The weather tile will resemble the weather information displayed in ChromeOS’ screensaver feature, as you may imagine.
Unfortunately, there is no indication of what broader ambitions Google may have for glanceables on ChromeOS because the features design draft is secret. The possibilities may include everything from a comprehensive widget system akin to Android to an intelligent organization of the information you require, similar to a large-screen version of Pixels At A Glance.
Leaving that aside, the positioning of these glanceable widgets is what we find most intriguing. You may store items like files, application shortcuts, and other items on the actual desktop on the majority of desktop and laptop operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu.
With its desktop being essentially nonexistent and only being used to display your current wallpaper, ChromeOS has always been the outlier. It appears very likely that the new glanceables will be the first significant application of the ChromeOS desktop, based on the code that is currently accessible.
We probably won’t see the code for these desktop widgets in action for a few more weeks or months because it is only now starting to appear in ChromeOS. Of course, it’s also very possible that these widgets will never be used because they are still a work in progress.
What do you think about the potential addition of widgets to ChromeOS? What kinds of data do you want it to display? Tell us in the comments section!
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