Google will soon be bringing an all new feature to its Chrome OS user base in the form of Chrome Launcher 2.0. Along with a refreshed interface and deeper functionality, the new launcher will now sport some handy Google Now data.
Considered by some to be long overdue, Launcher 2.0 has an all new look then the previous launcher’s app grid-type layout. The new version looks and acts more like a new browser tab on Chrome. It offers front and center Google search as you can see above, plus the aforementioned Google Now integration which can serve up everything from your upcoming flight times, to basic reminders and appointments from your other devices. Instead of a complete grid of available apps, users will have a most recently used list with a link to the rest.
Beyond that, we are seeing a few other upgrades including the ability to automatically update timezones accordingly when traveling, as well as the ability to handle password protected files. While not quite the complete implementation some were hoping for, the platform is also getting its first taste of Material Design on the Files App (seen above). Google notes that this is just the first app getting a new coat of paint and that others will also see the new design “soon.”
The new Launcher and its Google Now functionality aren’t quite ready for prime time and will instead be first available through the Chrome OS beta channel (found on the Settings page).