Late last month a new commit in Chrome OS’s code gave us a hint that Google was working on a new high-end Chromebook called “Eve.” Along with it, code was found that hinted at Google Assistant coming to Chrome OS and a dedicated physical button to launch it. New code commits have now been discovered that point to a keyboard shortcut for launching Assistant on older Chromebooks as well as new top-row keyboard shortcuts…
While digging through Chrome OS, ChromeUnboxed spotted a new commit that reads as follows:
Add UMA metrics for Assistant key In addition to Search + A, the Assistant can be invoked via the dedicated Assistant key on some devices.
Based on this, it would appear that once Google does bring Assistant to Chromebooks, users with older machines that don’t have a dedicated button will be able to launch the virtual assistant using a keyboard combination of the Search and A keys which are conveniently right next to each other.
After finding this bit of code, ChromeUnboxed also found a string that points toward an on/off toggle that will one day live within the settings menu. What this will do is allow users to turn off the Google Assistant altogether if they wish to not have it active on their Chromebooks.
Lastly, more code commits have been found that point towards new top-row keyboard shortcuts which will make its premiere on the “Eve” laptop. These changes include the complete removal of the forward (F2) button and the addition of a play/pause media button just left of the mute key.
Additionally, while Chrome OS currently only supports 11 function keys with the last usually being used as a lock/power button, it looks like “Eve” will include a new F12 and F13. The use of these buttons is still unknown, but it is safe to assume that one might be the dedicated Google Assistant button while code hints that the other will be used to launch some sort of “Application Launcher – Control Panel.”