Google wants to make it easy to drag and drop Chromebook apps

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How is drag-to-pin different than current Chromebook pinning methods?
As Chrome OS currently works, pinning apps is a two-click process. Or a three-click process, for users who pin an app that’s already open. For the former of the two methods, users need to open up the app launcher. That’s the concentric circle icon that defaults to the lower-left-hand side of the UI. Specifically, on the Chrome OS shelf, which is the bottom bar running alongside the bottom of the screen. After locating the app to be pinned, users need to right-click the app icon. Then they need to select the “Pin to shelf” option.

Google employees are now striving to make drag-and-drop operations even easy to use when pinning apps to a Chromebook shelf. That is based on a recently found Chromium Gerrit entry that adds an experimental feature flag for “Add shelf-drag-to-pin.” This operates very differently from the available methods for adding apps to the Chromebook shelf, as the branding suggests. Users might be able to just slide an open app’s icon over to the pinned side of the shelf rather than clicking. In contrast to activating the launcher, the app would be pinned to the shelf in this case.


  • Regardless, this feature will remove several clicks from that process. So it should, if it ever does release, be incredibly useful for just about every user. Especially in conjunction with other recent changes to the Chrome OS shelf. Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Junior Editor for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to phones at the affordable end of the market. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it’s heading. Contact him at

  • After completing those steps, the app icon will appear on the left-hand side of a barely perceptible separator on the shelf. Joining with other apps that are pinned by default. For the latter method, the steps to pin are nearly the same, but users need to right-click the icon for an open app on the shelf. That’s as opposed to opening the launcher. The app will move over from the right-hand side of the separator to the left. Now, as of this writing, the new feature isn’t available. In fact, despite searching for it, the experimental flag isn’t available yet either on any Android Headlines devices. At least not on the Stable Channel. When the flag is ultimately made available for using drag-and-drop actions on a Chromebook for pinning apps, it will be added at the “chrome://flags” URL.


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