Google has been revealing a lot of new features for Chromebooks, lately. Recent information shows that Google is working on a new touchscreen-optimized launcher for Chrome OS with a non-transparent background, but not blocking the center of the screen. The launcher does a great job of helping you focus on the feature without distracting you with text or images behind the interactive elements.
The feature is currently moved to the Canary channel, so it might take a few more releases before it hits the Stable channel for everyone. As is the usual cadence, it is expected to move from Canary to Dev and then to Beta before Stable. It should easily take three to four months for the release.
Chromebooks are bundled with the similar utility that Android tablets now have, and further optimizations for a direct touch interface are more than welcome. Chromebooks are so lightweight to the extent that you forget you are really carrying one in your bag. Also, it has pretty good battery life, a critical element for the student market it targets.
ChromeOS will soon also have a native night mode – an automatic red-tinted night light mode. This feature will display a tinted red to help mitigate the effects of starting into a computer display so late at night. At times, night mode can be a minor inconvenience, something similar to Kindle’s Blue Shade or LineageOS LiveDisplay feature.
The night light feature has also made its way into the current Canary build, where new features get tested before being made available to the public. The first time it was revealed was two months ago, and it looks like the rumors were true at the time.
Since these features are still only available to developers, it may take few more months before we see them added to the stable version of Chrome OS.
If you’re feeling brave enough, you can switch channels on your Chrome OS device. It’s not advisable, especially if you don’t have any dev skills; besides, it’s naturally very buggy since it’s a very early stage in feature development.