A clever way to provide widgets into Chrome OS

Some full several weeks, Chrome OS gets so many brand new features, it feels as though we’re practically drowning in possibilities . And guy alive, is that actually a wonderful sensation (despite having the metaphorical insufficient oxygen).

One area of the Chrome OS experience that hasn’t changed a lot recently, though, may be the desktop computer environment – y’know, the Chromebook’s exceptionally humble house screen. Certain, the taskbar region (a.k.a. the Chrome Operating system shelf) has learned several new tricks as time passes, however the desktop itself provides remained blank and clear of advanced functions since its inception vexingly.

That’s a stark comparison to Android, where in fact the true home screen can be an all-purpose panel for both app shortcuts and interactive widgets. Widgets specifically have the possible to create  so a lot important information  available readily, and they’d be just as helpful within the even a lot more productivity-oriented Chrome OS setup.

But despite just about all my wishing and summoning of miracle virtual-genie spirits, Search engines has however to grant all of us the ability to location widgets on a Chromebook’s desktop computer. (It’s astonishing, I understand. I’m starting to question if my sorcery powers aren’t as effective as I’ve been resulted in believe.) It is possible to install Google android apps on a Chromebook , needless to say, but widgets? Nope. Fuhgeddaboutit. Not really gonna happen, Horatio.

Or so you’ll think. Google might not support Google android widgets on Chrome Operating system as of this moment officially, but with just a little innovative tinkering, it is possible to build yourself a customized panel filled up with any widgets you need and make ’em all accessible from anyplace on your own Chromebook system. It is a custom Chrome Operating system productivity dashboard, basically, and it will take you most of four minutes to create.

Here, look – here is a Chrome OS widget panel I plopped collectively in just a matter of occasions at the moment, with widgets displaying my Gmail inbox, a Search engines Calendar monthly look at, a Todoist task checklist, and a Search engines Keep notes selection:

Chrome OS Widgets (1) JR

You obtain this thing goin’ as soon as, my goodness, you’re gonna end up being zippin’ around and takin’ care of company like, well, nobody’s company. Therefore crack those phalanges, get yourself a fistful of crackers, and obtain ready: It is time to treat you to ultimately one heck of a Chromebook improve.

The Chrome OS widget key


First things very first, to pull this feat away from, you will have to snag the trick ingredient inside our zesty and suspiciously greasy geek-stew recipe. It’s an appetizing app known as Taskbar , even though it’s primarily created for Android, it is effective on the Chromebook side deliciously. So go obtain it – either via the devoted Play Shop app on your own Chromebook or from the Have fun with Store in your web browser – and obtain it loaded up onto that amazing small system of yours.

(Taskbar is free of charge, by the way, also it doesn’t require any eyebrow-raising permissions to be able to operate. So cost forward, my fellow brave explorer – cost with gusto forward.)

Once Taskbar’s set up on your Chromebook, open up the app up, and you will find yourself looking at its configuration display screen. There are some adjustments we have to make to be able to have things running the true way they should, so stick to me and stay individual; I promise we’ll reach the nice part soon.

Okay – begin by clicking or even tapping the “General configurations” section, and in the menu that arises:

    1. Select “Place on display” and change it out to “Bottom still left (vertical).”


    1. Examine the box close to “Alternative placement for collapse key.”



Now, click on or tap the arrow within the upper-left part of the display screen to obtain back to the primary settings area. Select “Advanced functions,” and:

    1. Verify the box close to “Replace home display” and follow the measures to grant the app authorization to display over various other apps. Taskbar requirements that permission to be able to location itself on your own Chromebook’s desktop and arrive on top of some other apps you’re making use of. There’s no real danger involved.


    1. Once you have granted the authorization, make your way back again to the “Advanced functions” menu. You will most probably need to check the container close to “Replace home display screen” once more now to obtain it to consider.


    1. Next, check out the box close to “Enable widget assistance.”


    1. Lastly, go for “Widget dashboard grid dimension” and change it out to 2×2. (It is possible to go back and have fun with with this later, if you would like, but this environment seems the best option to the Chrome Operating system environment if you ask me. It divides your widget-panel display into quarters and provides you room for four various widgets with a lot of area for ’em to disseminate and breathe.)



Now, take a breath yourself – we’re nearly done! Click on or tap the arrow in the upper-left part of the display screen to obtain back to the primary Taskbar settings area once again. There’s just one single thing left to accomplish because of this initial foundational section of our set up, and it’s a significant one: Click on or tap the toggle in the upper-right part of that settings display and flip it in to the on place. That’s what’ll in fact activate the application form. (I informed you it had been important!) You will most probably see a prompt inquiring in order to grant a particular permission to be able to include latest apps in the device; I’d recommend clicking “Cancel” and ignoring that for the present time, as it’s really unnecessary, and it will just add extra mess into the interface for the current purposes.

And that, my efficiency-adoring amigo, could it be. You should now start to see the Taskbar user interface just above the circular launcher icon in the lower-left part of one’s screen – and you’re prepared to get your custom made Chrome Operating system widget panel create with all the current wuvely widgets you need. (Also to be clear, incidentally, “wuvely” is not a typo. It is the word “wonderful,” as said having an Elmer Fudd accent.)

Customizing your Chromebook widget panel


Hey, it was created by you! This is actually the fun part! Pat yourself on the relative back again, then end screwing around and let’s understand this thing done already.

First, to start your efficiency dashboard, click or tap about the arrow over that launcher icon – exactly the same 1 we were just considering a second ago.

Chrome OS Widgets Arrow JR


Yup – that is the one, you capable and smart sea creature. You click that poor boy once, you need to see an extended bar with a square-shaped icon displaying six small rectangles within it. See?

Chrome OS Widgets Icon JR


Click on that, and bam: There’s your dashboard. It’ll pop-up atop anything else you have open, be it your function-free Chrome Operating system desktop, a browser windowpane, or any selection of Chromebook-compatible apps. Needless to say, it’s blank at this time, which isn’t especially helpful. So let’s repair that, shall we?

Hover your computer mouse over the four quadrants of one’s display screen – or tap your finger onto some of ’em once, if you are using a Chromebook with out a keyboard handy – and you ought to see the phrases “Click to include widget” appear. Is it possible to do you know what we’re gonna perform next?

Yes, oh yes: Click on or even tap onto that very region, and holy jumpin’ jackalopes: Exactly like that, you’ll notice a straightforward widget selection user interface appear right before your overly wet eyeballs.

Chrome OS Widget Selector JR


Choose any widget you need, follow the tips to configure it like needed, and before it really is known by you, you’ll be looking at the fancy interactive widget – directly on your crusty ol’ Chromebook.

Chrome OS Widget Added JR


And remember: Exactly like with a widget in Android, it is possible to scroll or down inside it up, as supported, and tap any active section of it to leap to the related component directly. You can fill all four areas and have a number of widgets on requirement and available – including some of my best Google android widget recommendations , if you are searching for inspiration – or it is possible to keep things basic and just add a couple of items in to the mix. Remember, as well, that you could always return back and modify that “Widget dashboard grid dimension” setting from the minute ago to experiment with just how many spots can be found (and therefore also just how much space every one of ’em can take up).

The handful of other activities well worth noting before we call it each day:

    • Anytime you need to access your widgets, simply follow the same actions from above and click on or tap that little arrow to reveal the entire Taskbar bar, if required, then click on or tap the square-grid icon to help make the widgets arrive.


    • Clicking on or tapping that square-grid icon another time shall help to make the panel disappear completely; clicking or even tapping the arrow icon can make the bar collapse again.


    • Once the bar is extended, you can also click on or tap the circular icon for the reason that region to see and rapidly access any Google android apps which are installed on your own Chromebook. It’s not really the most significant advantage of this setup, easily am questioned by you, but it’s a fascinating extra contact that’s there and worthy of remember.


    • If you need to remove a widget from your own panel ever, double-click on it – or long-push it together with your finger (supplied you’ve got a Chromebook with a touch-screen, that’s; otherwise, you will not accomplish any other thing more than smudging up your screen and making yourself experience silly).


    • You need to manually open up the Taskbar app as soon as each time you restart your Chromebook to get it ready to go. An option is experienced by the app in its configurations to start itself immediately upon booting, but it doesn’t appear to function in the Chrome Operating system environment. It is a minor additional step but a fairly painless one to cope with. You could also pin the app to your taskbar region to greatly help yourself remember and maintain it an individual click or tap apart.



And that, my dear, is all there’s to the. All that’s left would be to widget aside – widget apart with abandon, damn it! – and leave everybody else around you thinking how on earth you’re producing that virtual-genie-level magic take place.

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