The desktop functionality of Chrome OS has incrementally improved since its introduction as a web-focused operating system back in 2010. However, it’s undeniable that Windows and macOS still have more desktop-focused features as their philosophy has been different from the beginning. After Google revealed it was getting out of the tablet hardware business, the focus has turned back on competing with Windows and macOS on the desktop keyboard-and-mouse front. To that end, Google has been adding new features and conveniences to make Chrome OS a head-to-head competitor with the established giants. Now, Google may be about to add its own version of the “hot corners” feature.
This feature exists in macOS, lettings Mac users trigger different actions by moving their mouse cursor to a corner of the desktop screen. It also exists in the GNOME desktop environment (which is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, and many other Linux distributions). Windows, on the other hand, doesn’t have such a feature. On the Mac, hot corners turns each of the four corners of a user’s display into actions. When a user moves their cursor to the top right corner, for example, the action that is assigned to the top right corner will be launched. They can access the Notification Center by moving their cursor to the top left corner, and access screensavers at the bottom right corner, for instance.
A new commit has been submitted to the Chromium Gerrit, which shows that Google may be preparing to add its own version of Hot Corners by adding a Chrome flag for the same. Its description states: “If enabled, the user can configure actions for corners of the display.” As of now, the commit is under review, and it hasn’t been merged yet. Right now, the commit doesn’t state any details about Google’s version of Hot Corners. However, the description makes it clear that it will function similarly to macOS’ and GNOME’s implementations of the feature. What kind of actions will be triggered is something that we don’t know yet.
This isn’t the first time Google has lifted features from other operating systems to make its own better. Chrome OS users now have the feature of a second virtual desktop, which is known as virtual desk. Apple’s Look Up feature was brought to Chrome OS in the form of the Google Assistant-powered Quick Answers.
If the commit is merged, Chrome OS users can expect to see the feature arrive as a flag in future Chrome OS versions, such as Chrome OS 82 or version 83.
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