It has been a number of years since Google overhauled the app drawer for Chromebooks. It changed the ageing “card” launcher with a touch-focused one, bearing a putting resemblance to Apple’s Launchpad for macOS. Whereas it introduced usability enhancements to touchscreen Chromebooks, the expertise is largely unintuitive with a mouse. Worse, the launcher feels slippery and unpolished, even on a pill — Google is testing some enhancements to repair this. Your mouse woes could quickly be over, although, as Google is testing a fully redesigned launcher that is way more mouse pleasant.

Chrome Story just lately uncovered a new launcher in improvement that goals to optimize entry to apps, app content material, and app actions. In case you’re dwelling dangerously on the Canary channel, you possibly can strive the new launcher proper now by copying and pasting the next URL into Chrome’s deal with bar:

chrome://flags/#productivity-launcher

To guage an enhanced Launcher expertise that goals to enhance app workflows by optimizing entry to apps, app content material, and app actions. — Chrome OS

You may see a model new UI after urgent the launcher button on the taskbar.

The redesigned Chrome OS launcher.

The new launcher is reminiscent with the “card” design present in older variations of Chrome OS. Its compact design does not obscure all the display screen just like the UI used at the moment, as an alternative occupying house on the left facet of the display screen. The launcher’s 4×5 grid scrolls vertically just like the Pixel launcher, and now strikes way more easily. Tablets will nonetheless have the old app drawer even with the flag enabled — which completely is sensible given its touch-centric UI.

The placeholder textual content, damaged search, and lack of Google Assistant is a reminder that the new launcher is nonetheless early in its improvement. Even in its unfinished state, the new UI seems to be good. It solves a massive usability gripe I’ve with at the moment’s Chrome OS launcher when utilizing a mouse or trackpad — this design goals to resolve that.

It will take a while earlier than the revamped launcher arrives to everybody on the Chrome OS Secure channel, however I am excited the place Google is going to go with this experiment. It could lastly be critical about making a competent app launcher — this is hoping that Google will lastly permit us to kind apps alphabetically within the not-so-distant future.