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Chrome OS may get lockscreen media controls soon

Chrome OS Canary has a new trick. (Source: Google)
Chrome OS Canary has a new trick. (Source: Google)
An XDA contributor has observed that it is now possible to control media on their Chrome OS device even though the screen is locked. The feature has not been part of this system by default in the past, but is reportedly there in its 79 Canary (or 'advance') version. It has been shown working for YouTube content.

The latest Canary build of Chrome OS has been observed to have new kinds of media controls. They appear directly on a lockscreen, whereas this may not have been possible in earlier versions. The new feature for the Chromebook operating software can apparently be used with a touchscreen, offering what might be further evidence of Google's attempts to make its UI more tablet-friendly.

This report is based on the experiences of the XDA contributor Some_Random_Username, who claims to be using Chrome OS 79 Canary. This inidividual has posted a screenshot showing how YouTube can now be controlled on the device in question even though the screen appears to be locked.

On the other hand, it is possible that this ability was always built into the OS, and could be accessed by enabling a system-level flag with the location chrome://flags#lock-screen-media-controls. However, this flag is allegedly absent in 79 Canary, ostentatiously due to its new-found superfluity.

It is not clear if this new ability applies to Google apps on Chrome OS only, or to all media. However, it is a good indication that its developer is indeed trying to make this software more compatible with touchscreens, even if it makes it seem even more like Android than ever. It will be interesting to see if "Hatch", a rumored in-house Mountain View Chromebook with 10th-gen Intel Core silicon, will come with the relevant hardware.


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-09-21 (Update: 2019-09-21)