Chromebook multitasking is about to get even better with 'Snap Groups'

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(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Dev Channel build of ChromeOS 121 introduces a new way to group your various app windows together.
  • When you place two windows in split mode, the app windows will remain "grouped" together. 
  • The feature is hidden behind the #enable-snap-groups flag, and is currently limited to two apps at a time. 

ChromeOS continues to be improved at an incredible pace, with new and exciting features arriving all of the time. However, there are still some quality-of-life features that are being implemented. The latest of which is the ability to create a pseudo-app group with app windows when multitasking.

Google recently rolled out the latest Dev Channel update, and @cr_c2cv found the new feature called "Snap Groups." As you might suspect, you'll first need to enable the appropriate #ash-snap-groups flag on your Chromebook, provided that you're running at least version 121.0.6120.0

(Image credit: Android Central)

Once enabled, you can activate Snap Groups by opening an app window using the built-in window layout functionality. This is done by hovering your cursor over the Maximize button and then selecting one of the split-screen layouts. From there, select the second app or tab that you want to have, and you'll be good to go. 

Snap Groups in Virtual Desks overview on ChromeOS

(Image credit: Android Central)

These two app windows will stay grouped together, even showing up as a single app if you look at the Virtual Desks overview. We're just starting to mess around with this, and it seems to work pretty well so far. However, there is one minor annoyance, in that if you try to open a third window and then click back into the Snap Group, the third window disappears behind the group.

Another limitation is that Snap Groups can only be used with two apps or windows at a time. So, unfortunately, you won't be able to have an app in four quadrants and keep them grouped together. Then again, this has only just landed on the Dev Channel, so there's always a chance that Google will offer this in a future build.

Even still, we're excited to see Google continue to improve upon the multitasking capabilities with Chromebooks. While it still falls a bit behind when compared to Windows, it's light-years better than what macOS offers out of the box. 

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.