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Google adds tablet UI elements to Chrome OS betas

updated 09:10 am EDT, Thu April 7, 2011

Google Chrome OS gets new touch elements

Google's plans to support Chrome OS tablets were more tightly defined Thursday after discoveries showed touch elements having arrived in just the past few weeks. The browser now reports itself as "CrOS Touch" for sites that have specific touchscreen elements. An on-screen keyboard has appeared in earnest, and areas like the new tab page have been optimized both to provide more space for fingers and to be "reflowed when rotated (like iPad)," Google said.

The company has long admitted that it was working on Chrome OS for tablets and even had concept renders (pictured) of what it should look like when done. A spokesperson following up on the new findings said there was "early open-source work" going on for tablets but nothing definitive to say at this stage.

Controversies have emerged over whether Chrome OS should even exist on tablets. With Google now pushing Android 3.0 as its full tablet OS, companies would have little incentive to split their development time and work on a Chrome OS version that would lack native apps and much of the platform support that exists today. The web-only OS isn't due to show until the second half of this year, even for non-touch netbooks, and would give most of the momentum to Android. [via CNET]



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