Google is finally looking to improve the Chromebook video player, reports indicate. And it’s not just better in terms of performance, necessarily, either. Instead, the company seems to be focused on providing a modern and sleek user interface.
The new user interface is also already easily accessible, at least for some users.
What does this update do for the user interface?
The biggest visual change here is that the new UI isn’t wrapped in a bottom bar interface. The current media player is based on an older HTML5 based video plugin. So the play bar, play / pause button, full screen, volume, and overflow UI are all at the bottom. They kind of overlap the video halfway with a darkened tint.
The new user interface is based on the multimedia application already in use for viewing photos and moderate editing. And, instead of the bottom bar UI, it uses a floating UI that isn’t entirely different from QuickTime. Google moved all of the controls there, including a new skip forward / backward button, system independent volume controls, and PiP functionality.
When will a better video player be available for your Chromebook?
Now, as noted above, the update will only be available to certain users. This is because the best Chromebook video player is hidden behind an experimental flag and on the Canary channel of Chromium BONE. It is undoubtedly the most difficult channel to access and undeniably buggy. In fact, it’s beyond usability for most everyday users. So it’s out of reach for most.
The fact that he’s in the Canary Channel, whether it’s a flag or not, shows that he’ll be arriving much sooner rather than later. Potentially in the next updates. It could arrive as early as early June with Chrome 91 or mid-April with Chrome 90. Although it could also arrive later with Chrome 92 – late July – or later.