With every new Chrome OS device that’s released, it seems like there’s either a touch-screen, 2-in-1 design, or both to add functionality beyond the traditional laptop form factor. Thanks to a recent discovery within Chrome OS’s Developer Mode, you can now use split-screen snapping for proper touch-friendly multitasking when using a ChromeOS device as a tablet.
In order to use split-screen snapping on Chrome OS (via Chrome Unboxed), you’ll need to have Developer Mode enabled and then add -enable-tablet-splitview. A fair understanding of Chrome OS’s Crosh shell is required here, but assuming you’re comfortable with this, you should be ready to start using the new split-screen snapping once the above command has been enabled.
Tapping on the overlay button in Chrome OS will showcase a grid of all windows that are currently open, and dragging a window to either the left or right side will then snap it into place. Once you’ve got two windows open (one of the left and one on the right), you’ll be able to adjust the size of each one with the black bar that divides them.
If this sounds similar to how you run two apps side by side on Android, that’s because it is. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Google would use a similar multitasking setup across both of its platforms, but what is odd is why it took so long for split-screen snapping to finally make its way to Chrome OS.
A new Chromebook Pixel is reported to debut alongside the Google Pixel 2 this fall, and although Google has yet to comment on when these new software additions will be added, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see them introduced with this upcoming hardware.