ChromeOS 118 could bring new widgets to your Chromebook's Shelf

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(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • ChromeOS Canary 118 introduces a new Google Tasks widget that appears on your Shelf.
  • This appears when opening the Calendar widget from the Taskbar, but is not enabled by default. 
  • We aren't yet sure whether this functionality will be limited to Google Tasks or if it will be available with more Google apps.

The "core" of ChromeOS is pretty set, as you can use everything from web apps to the Play Store or even Linux apps with the best Chromebooks. Over the past couple of years, Google has been working on improving the overall experience, adding little tweaks here and there. But the Canary build of ChromeOS 118 could bring an even more useful feature in the form of "Glanceable" widgets.

This was discovered by C2 Production on Twitter, showing off the ability to interact with your various lists within Google Tasks. We were able to get it working on one of our own Chromebooks, as you'll need to enable the "#glanceables-v2" flag first before it will appear. 

Then, just click the Date in the bottom right corner, and after a moment, the Google Tasks widget appears. It's surprisingly functional, as you can switch between lists and even check off tasks, right from the widget. The only unfortunate thing, so far at least, is that if you try to add another task, you'll be taken to a Google Calendar webpage with the Tasks sidebar showing.

Also noted by C2 Production, you aren't able to sort existing tasks, which isn't as big of a deal compared to being able to add tasks. But it's important to remember that this is the Canary build of ChromeOS. It's entirely possible that this new functionality doesn't even make it past this build and could be removed. 

However, if this is any indication of what's to come, we're excited to see what else Google might have planned for widgets within the Shelf on Chromebooks. Perhaps we'll even be able to swap Google Tasks out for another app, even if it's just Google Keep or one of the other best to-do apps

All of this comes while Google continues to work on bringing Material You theming to ChromeOS. It's also possible that we're nearing the day when the Chrome browser is decoupled from ChromeOS in order to provide "faster updates." Even if the Tasks widget is removed, we're excited to see Google trying out different things to make life just a little bit easier. 

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.