Chrome OS Dev update: Bluetooth notifications, always maximized mode and more


Chrome OS Dev has received another slew of improvements in its latest update. None of these are huge upgrades, but Chromebook users will find it’s the smaller, more constant updates that really make a difference in experience. These smaller updates are what push Chrome OS into a more solid platform.

Today we will show you some of the biggest new features in the newest Chrome OS Dev update. These include bluetooth notifications, the new “always maximized” mode and a new icon for the on-screen keyboard. But first, let’s show you what Chrome OS Dev is.

What is Chrome OS Dev

I like to tell people what Chrome OS Dev channel is before we move into these topics. We don’t want people running to test the latest features without knowing these are experimental. Those in Chrome OS Dev always get to test the newest features first, but they are also prone to see more bugs and issues.

To learn more about Chrome OS channels and which one is right for you, you can refer to our Chrome OS channel guide for more details.

With that out of the way, let’s jump into the new features!

“Always maximized” mode

This mode allows you to create a bigger focus on single apps or windows. As you can expect from the mode name, it pretty much maximizes any window to cover the whole screen. Some apps can’t be made to fit the whole screen, though.

When apps can’t be maximized, Chrome OS creates a backdrop that will cover the home screen and other windows. You can see an example of this in the image below. If you want to activate this feature, simply go to chrome://flags/#ash-enable-touch-view-testing and enable the Touch View testing flag.

After enabling said flag, you can toggle the feature by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + D.


Notification for bluetooth devices and multiple users

Most settings and files are not shared across multiple accounts in a Chromebook, but such is not the case for bluetooth devices. When a bluetooth device is paired with a Chromebook, it becomes available for all users in that Chromebook.

Chrome OS Dev now gives you a notification letting you know bluetooth-connected devices are available to all users.


New on-screen keyboard icon

The on-screen keyboard continues to be an experimental feature, but it has been getting a lot of improvements lately. The latest Chrome OS Dev update brings a new icon for your on-screen keyboard. It can be tapped to activate the software keyboard at any time.

If you haven’t yet, you can activate the Chrome OS Dev on-screen keyboard by going to chrome://settings/search#on-screen and enabling the on-screen keyboard flag. Simple as that!


[François Beaufort]