ChromeOS’ Partial Window Splitting Feature Gets Closer

We reported exactly a month ago, after History of Chromium first spotted the code change, that Google was working on a ChromeOS Partial Split mode to resize windows in 2/3 and 1/3 configurations, similar to what Windows 11 does. In this article, we speculated on how the implementation might go because, at the time, there were no visual clues as to how Google might go about it and we wrote:

How I imagine this might work is that once you start dragging your window to one side to snap it into place, three different overlays with snapping options appear: a third split screen , half split screen and two third split screen.

Mockup of how we imagined the partial split function would work
Mockup of how we imagined the partial split function would work

We still don’t have a clear vision of how Google can accomplish this, but thanks to new code found by About Chromebookswe now have a better idea. A clear reference to a multitasking button is present on the Chromium Gerritwho says “Add split button and multitasking button to multitasking menu. Link button to split view, full screen and float.” Combine that with About Chromebook’s discovery of a change the icon used to maximize a windowwhich in ChromeOS Dev v105 shows an empty floating window when hovered over, shows that we’re about to see this feature come to fruition.

Empty floating window in v105
Blank floating window in v105 when hovering over Maximize button
Image source: About Chromebooks

The idea is that this floating window would show you the different split-screen configurations you can use while multitasking, which so far, based on code, are: two halves, two partials (70% + 30%), full screen or floating above.

code describing split window changes

It’s still a work in progress, however, and from the comments in the repository, it seems testing so far hasn’t gone as well as they’d like. However, the flag is currently present on ChromeOS 104 Beta and 105 Dev, although it does nothing. So hopefully by the time 105 Stable hits, the feature will be fully fleshed out and ready for prime time.

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