It’s no secret that your Chromebook app launcher can use a serious revision of the user experience. As it is today, Chrome OS is devoid of any method of sorting your apps, which means that all the reorganization of your apps has to be done manually, and it creates new pages in the launcher seemingly randomly. The end result is a useless mess, which makes it frustrating to find your important apps unless you use the search box. After years of neglecting user feedback, it looks like Google is finally doing something about it.


7;ve been monitoring Google’s efforts to improve the app drawer experience on your Chromebook, including a completely redesigned launcher that’s much more mouse – friendly. While a welcome change, it did not resolve the launcher’s lack of app sorting issue, which made it annoying to use. That could all change thanks to an ongoing commitment first seen by 9to5Google over to the Chromium archive, which will add a new Chrome flag to enable app sorting.

App sorting in the launcher is finally in use.

Information on how Google implements app sorting is sparse, so we do not know any specific information on how it works once implemented. We think (or maybe just hope) that it allows people to sort their apps alphabetically, similar to the launcher found on Pixels, but it can also sort apps by their category. It will be available in a subsequent Chrome OS Canary update, which we can’t wait to try.

Personally, I can not believe that Google is waiting so long to implement app sorting. The ruined launcher experience has been a problem too years, and despite plenty of feedback asking to include a sensible method of sorting apps (including a good article written by ChromeUnboxed), Google simply ignored it. I’m glad Google’s finally doing something, but this should honestly come way before.

And this is where the underlying problem is: there are still serious bugs and kinks in the Chrome OS that have been around for years despite constant reports sent by users. Issues like janky multitasking in tablet mode and lack of system UI polish (where’s the simple calendar widget, Google?) Really detract from the user experience, which Google seems to have no interest in fixing. The stagnant development does not look good for new users who plan to use Chrome OS in the long run.

Time will tell when Google adds app sorting to Chrome OS. If done competently, it could finally bring a serious usability issue to a head – I just hope it comes soon sooner rather than later.