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New images give an early look at ChromeOS 'At a glance' style widgets

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 on bookshelf
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Some first looks are coming in about Google's ChromeOS "glanceable" widgets, functioning much like Pixel's "At a glance."
  • The new update would bring a new "welcome screen" for ChromeOS which would show upon sign-in.
  • The feature would provide useful information and get you back into your previous session quickly.

Google has been spotted prepping "At a glance" style widgets for ChromeOS, and we're starting to see some initial looks at a coming feature.

According to 9to5Google, these widgets will also come in with a new welcome screen for ChromeOS. The widgets are apparently dubbed "glanceables" and will be available on your Chromebook desktop. Also, seeing as Google appears to be much further into its development process, the company is now calling the new page a "welcome screen" for ChromeOS.

9to5Google managed to obtain some images of the feature, giving us an idea of what to expect when it arrives:

As it's showing in the current tests, ChromeOS' new welcome screen is set to appear right as you sign into your Chromebook. The initial look shows a welcome message, weather information, an "Up next" section that would most likely display anything coming up on your calendar and other important upcoming events, and a "Restore last session" option.

That last option seems pretty useful, as it will apparently display a screenshot of what you were last doing. Clicking on it will get you right back into it your previous session, including your open windows. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Timeline feature introduced in Windows 10.

As far as navigating out of the welcome screen, it seems it'll disappear as soon as you click on one of your apps to start your session. However, as 9to5 notes, Google apparently isn't sure just yet how to bring back the welcome screen after you've clicked out of it. The current method is apparently an "up next" button at the top left of the screen when viewing your virtual desks.

While we're still most likely a ways away from seeing this new welcome screen, 9to5 states there should be a new flag coming to the Chromium Gerrit that will allow eager testers to try out the new change before it releases. The test is also labeled "Productivity Experiment," and will likely arrive first for users on the Canary channel.