This next feature of Chromebook virtual desktops will go a long way towards rapid productivity
If you’ve been visiting our website, YouTube channel, or podcast for a while, you probably know by now that I love using the virtual desktops feature on my Chromebooks. They help me stay productive, organized and focused on my tasks in my daily workflow. By dividing my windows and apps into different desktops, I can easily keep things tidy between messages, creative work, writing, and other tools that I keep open on a regular basis.
With all the new options we have in virtual desktops functionality, I have long thought they were a complete package with little need for new capabilities. After all, we can already create up to 8 desktops in total, drag and drop them, drag and drop windows / apps between desktops, navigate with multiple keyboard shortcuts, and even navigate desktops with a 4-finger swipe. While there isn’t much else that I really need from this fully formed feature, there are still small improvements that could make the experience less clunky and what we found out today ‘ hui is one of those things.
Drag a window to create a new desktop
Through a commit in the Chromium repositories, we have found a new tweak to the functionality of virtual desktops that will fix an issue that users encounter frequently. Take a look at the commit, then we’ll talk about how it will speed up productivity.
The process here seems pretty straightforward: if you have a window / app that you want to drag to a new desktop that hasn’t been created yet, soon you’ll be able to just grab that window from preview mode, drag it to the new desktop creation button, and a new desktop will form with your window inside.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to do this. Even though I have quite a few desktops that are always open, there are countless times I open a new app or window and want it on a desktop that isn’t already taken. This usually means I’m going to move it, stop it, drop it, create the new desktop, go back to the desktop where the window is, and then drag it into place.
For me, when I’m just trying to sort something quickly and get back to work, it’s just another annoyance that makes me leave the window where it doesn’t belong, which then makes me lose track. from where I left it when I need to come back. First world issues for sure, but this new feature will come in really handy anytime you have an app or window that needs its own space quickly. With this new change, you’ll just be able to go to that presentation mode, drag it to a new desktop, and go back to what you were doing.
The feature has already been merged for a little over a week, so I would expect to see it arrive in the next or two next versions of Chrome OS. As a reminder, these next versions are the M96 and M97, which should be released on November 30 and January 6 respectively. While it might stay behind a flag for a bit, I’d bet we’ll see this land as a stable feature by early 2022 at the latest. I know I’ll be happy when he gets here!