Chrome OS Tests a New (Smaller) App Launcher Design

Google is testing a new design for the app launcher on Chromebooks. In simple words, Google is moving away from the macOS style to Windows 10 style. Or so it would seem.

Productivity experiment: App Launcher

Interestingly, Google is calling this new launcher a productivity experiment. If you are on the Canary channel of Chrome OS, you will see the following experimental flag:

Productivity experiment: App Launcher: To evaluate an enhanced Launcher experience that aims to improve app workflows by optimizing access to apps, app content, and app actions. – Chrome OS.

Enable this flag and you will get a peek into the new design.

Clicking on “Flip page” doesn’t do much. You will get a placeholder page.

Chrome OS currenrly has a launcher design similar to that of macOS. However, the new design reminds me of Windows 10. You click the start button or the Windows button to open a small box where you will see some apps and search etc.

More to Come?

Clearly, this is a (very) early version of the new laucher. From the flag description, Google wants to do more with this launcher. I am sure they won’t call this a productivity feature without a few tricks lined up.

It will be interesting to watch this feature develop in coming days. If you have any questions or things you want me to test, leave a comment in the comments form below.


It is too early to say if I like this new design or not. However, I would love to hear your first impressions on the new design. Do you like an macOS/iOS-like fullscreen app launcher or this little box snuck away in the corner?

5 responses to “Chrome OS Tests a New (Smaller) App Launcher Design”

  1. Android 11

    ARCVM feature progress

  2. would love to see an option to have apps listed in alpha order, I know you can just start typing the app name ala Windows, but it would be much more appealing to have the apps in order so they are easy to find when scrolling through the list. J

    1. Dinsan – Bangalore, India – Digital Minimalist & Content Developer. Drinks Tea and writes Stuff (mostly about Chromebooks). My views are mostly copied from others.

      I hope we will see all that, eventually.

  3. i’d like the option to switch between different app launchers on the fly, like you can in the KDE plasma desktop

  4. How can I return to full screen version. I like it better than test launcher screen

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