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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Chrome OS 70 Brings Better Tablet Mode to Chromebooks, Here’s What’s New

2-in-1 Chromebooks have existed for a few years now, and have become more and more popular as Chromebooks gained support for touch-based Android apps. But, using a convertible Chromebook just wasn’t as smooth as using a tablet. Part of this was the fact that you’re still holding a laptop, but the bigger part was the user interface.

Now, both of those problems are effectively solved. Chrome tablets and detachables are available and with Chrome OS 70, there’s a much more touch-friendly user interface.

RELATED: How Google is Turning Chrome OS into a Powerful Tablet OS

What’s good

The first change users will notice is the new launcher: fold your keyboard around, and all of your icons and folders get laid out in a grid. You have quick shortcuts to your favorite apps and recent web pages up top, and you can rearrange the icons by holding and dragging them around. There isn’t a “desktop” in tablet mode: tapping the home button or swiping the bottom shelf up just brings up this app drawer.

Tapping the multitasking button in the lower-right corner brings up all your open apps and browser windows, and you can close out of these just by swiping them away. You can also grab and drag an open window to either the left or right side to use the apps in split screen mode. Once in split screen mode, you get a bar in between the apps. Swipe this bar around, and you change how much space each app takes up on the screen.

Next is the quick settings menu. It looks a whole lot like the quick settings from Android: you get easy-to-tap toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, and other settings. Notifications stack up just like on your smartphone, and they can be swiped away to clear up clutter.

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