Google Chrome OS Set to Get New Launcher

Chromebook users can opt-in to see the next generation of ChromeOS now.

Google is building a next generation interface for its Chrome OS operating system, which powers Chromebook laptop computers. Google is now offering users in its beta-channel the opportunity to preview features that are currently in development for Chrome OS, including a new launcher and a new look to the overall system.

"The new launcher is the best way to start new activities on Chrome OS, like performing a Google search or launching apps," Ernest Cabrera, Google Chrome community manager explained in a mailing list posting. "We've enhanced search to help you find what you are looking for faster, put the apps you most often use right at your fingertips, and brought the power of Google Now to your Chromebook."

Google Now has not previously been generally available to ChromeOS users, though it has been available on Android.

The launcher isn't the only part of ChromeOS that is being refreshed, overall, Google is introducing its Material Design approach, with the Files App being the first to benefit from the new approach. The Material Design approach is a set of guidelines created by Google to create a more usable and intuitive computing experience.

"A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion," Google explained in its material design documentation. "The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic."

From a security perspective, Chrome OS is now set to benefit from the ability to password protect ZIP files. Google is also providing a fix in its beta channel for a security issue that was first demonstrated at the HP sponsored Pwn2own event on March 20.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: Google, Chrome OS, Chromebook

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