Google’s Chrome OS is getting a couple of UI changes that bring it a bit closer to being visually in line with Android, including the familiar power menu. The power menu and UI tweaks are in the latest Canary version of Chrome OS. While users will have to mess with flags to get the new darker, simpler UI for menus, the power menu is available automatically and will come up when the power button on any touch-enabled Chromebook is long-pressed. The other big change is to the popup menu from pressing the taskbar’s power button. A “dark mode” has been available as a flag for this menu, and that mode will now pare the controls down to a small number of touch-friendly options, as seen in the screenshot below.
In the new power menu, there are only two options for now; power off and sign out. Restart is notably absent, and other options that can be put into power menus on some Android devices, such as switching users on the fly or putting the device into and out of airplane mode, are not on board. Both functions do exactly what they say; Power Off will turn your Chromebook completely off, and Log Out will kick you back to the login screen so that you can switch users or restart your session. The buttons are, as seen below, large and touch-friendly.
This change is the latest in a long line of user interface tweaks meant to make Chrome OS more touch-friendly as the market skews toward a larger focus on touchscreen Chrome OS devices. Mainstream convertibles such as the Samsung Chromebook Pro and Pixelbook have been pushing things along, and there have been multiple hints recently pointing to an upcoming Chrome OS tablet. This serves a dual purpose of making the design and user interface of Google’s product lineup more cohesive. Google’s Material Design principles shine through in the small details of both Chrome OS and Android, though it is worth noting the last appearance of the upcoming Andromeda OS showed something vastly out of line with the design principles behind both of those.