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chrome os virtual desktops


Chrome OS 83 released with Assistant media playback control and renameable virtual desktops

The coronavirus pandemic ruffled Chrome and Chrome OS releases quite a bit, so Google paused updates for a short time, even omitting version 82 altogether. But now the company is getting back on track and has announced the release of Chrome OS 83. It'll start rolling out to first people this week, and it brings a whole slew of neat improvements to the table. None of them are as big as the addition of gesture navigation we've seen in version 81, though.

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Chrome OS 78 Stable rolling out with Virtual Desks, improved printing, and YouTube app PiP (Updated)

Whenever Chrome is updated to a new version, a Chrome OS release naturally isn't far out. The operating system receives the same additions as the browser, such as click-to-call and improved native file handling, and gets some exclusives on top: Virtual desktops are rolling out with this release, and all compatible printers will automatically show up on your device without setup in the future.

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[Update: Now in Dev Channel] Virtual desktops (finally) arrive in Chrome OS via Canary Channel

"Virtual Desks," which is Google's name for the more generic term "virtual desktops" (or the greatest thing ever) have been spotted in Chrome OS 77 in the current Canary Channel. We previously anticipated their arrival to the platform when a Chromium Gerrit commit indicated it would be coming eventually, but now it's actually here and working as of the latest Canary builds. Our friend Kevin Tofel over at About Chromebooks spotted the feature when it hit, and put together a good video demonstrating it live on real hardware:

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Squeeeee: Virtual desktops are coming to Chrome OS, video demonstrates initial concept

In what I will adamantly defend as the biggest news of the month, it looks like Google has started work on a feature it is calling "virtual desks" for Chrome OS. Based on a video published together with the Chromium Gerrit commit, the feature is effectively virtual desktops for Chromebooks, which we were previously told the company was working on. (YAY!)

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Chrome OS will get virtual desktop (workspace) support... eventually

In the lead-up to our Pixel Slate not-review, I had a chance to interview the senior product manager for Chrome OS at Google, Kan Liu. We talked about the larger tablet experience on Chrome OS and where the operating system was headed, when at one point I brought up the question of virtual desktops (also known as workspaces). Liu was aware of Chrome's shortcomings in that respect, and while I acknowledged that the expose feature allows users to keep multiple windows available to them with their preferred tabs open, it's not a direct replacement for virtual desktops, something other operating systems like Mac OS and Windows have long supported.

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