Chrome OS 70 to transform tablets with a smart auto-switch to desktop mode

Can a tablet be your only computer? Having used an iPad Pro 12.9 for 18 months, it can; at least for my activities. But even then, working in a tablet UI felt a little limiting. That won’t be the case for Chrome tablets or Chromebooks with detachable displays based on this Chrome Unboxed video of a desktop mode switching function coming with Chrome OS 70.

With this version of Chrome OS, you can see that the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 recognizes when a USB peripheral is added, such as an external display, and intelligently switches from tablet mode to traditional desktop mode.

That means it brings back the full dock and supports resizable windowed apps, instead of one full screen or two split-screen apps. That’s huge from productivity and user experience perspectives.

And while this feature might when work adding a USB keyboard to a small tablet, the real benefit will be seen on larger screened devices as well when the tablet is connected to an external monitor.

In fact, Chrome Unboxed says that instead of simply mirroring the tablet screen to another display with the current version of Chrome OS, version 70 treats the setup as a dual-monitor workspace so that the second monitor is a true extension of the first. So you can move browser tab windows and Android or Linux apps to the second screen instead of viewing them on both displays.

Again, this is a pretty significant development, and a step that Apple hasn’t taken with its iOS tablets, which can only mirror their display on another screen. The idea of using a Chrome tablet as a single, main computing device — at least if it works for all of the tasks that you personally need it to do — becomes much more feasible with this software addition.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Google shows off this still-in-progress feature at its October 9 hardware event: It’s that big of a deal when it comes to being productive with a Chrome OS tablet.

 

4 thoughts on “Chrome OS 70 to transform tablets with a smart auto-switch to desktop mode

  • September 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm
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    Assuming that the pending detachable Pixelbook has decent specs, with this update, it really does have the potential to be the sort of Swiss Army Knife computer we’ve been promised seemingly forever.

    Reply
    • September 13, 2018 at 6:25 pm
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      “Swiss Army Knife.” Yes, my thoughts exactly. Or maybe Maximus Prime. Use your finger, use a stylus, use a touchpad, use a mouse, use out of backpack, use on your lap, or use at workstation with an large extended display. Getting closer to when one device form factor can do all of it and do all of it well.

      Reply
  • September 19, 2018 at 8:52 am
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    I can really see myself use a Chrome OS tablet mostly when reading, watching movies, casually browsing the web or listening to music, but then I can just plug it instead of my work computer into the USB-C hub, external monitor, mouse, keyboard all work for productive multi-tasking – Samsung honestly got it right with DeX, but Chrome OS would take it one step further.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2018 at 2:46 am
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    That chrome who transform the tablets with smart auto is the best. Luckily I Download Bluestacks and I’m having a good times with my own tablet.

    Reply

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