Over the last couple of months, we have seen more and more code commits to the Chrome OS project that hint at the addition of Google Assistant and new keyboard function keys. Now, a screenshot has leaked which appears to show how Google plans to update the Chromebook keyboard layout…
The leaked screenshot was found by ChromeUnboxed who was sent a link to a now private Chrome Bug Tracker report that contained the image.
The image of the virtual keyboard lines up almost perfectly to what we saw in Chrome OS’s code commits from several days ago. This includes the removal of the forward (F2) button and the addition of a play/pause media button just left of the mute key. We can also see what the new “Application Launcher – Control Panel” function button is now labeled as “System Menu.”
We don’t know for sure what the new System Menu key will be used for but some believe that it will launch Chrome OS’s system tray and possibly any menu systems when inside an application.
Lastly, if this screenshot is to be believed, it appears that Google will be placing the Assistant key on the same row as the space bar, between the ctrl and alt keys. This placement is very similar to the Command and Windows keys found on Apple and Microsoft machines which should make the button’s placement feel familiar to users.