How To Get Widgets and a ‘Start Button’ on Your Chromebook
You’ll need to be able to install Android apps on your device
The desktop on a Chromebook is as barren as the Sahara Desert. Save for a wallpaper you’ll rarely see, it has no function whatsoever. I still cannot understand why Google have kept things this way rather than allow shortcuts and widgets to be displayed on the Desktop, but hey ho, what do I know? I’m only a user.
Cue my discovery of the Taskbar app. Designed for Android phones, maybe this little app could fulfill a need most of us Chromebook users yearn for?
Let’s take a look.
Installation is straightforward. Head to the Google Play Store and download the app. Open up Taskbar once installed and then it’s time to play with the settings to ensure it plays nicely with your Chromebook.
The Taskbar App Settings
First things first. Click general settings and ensure you’ve got everything set as per the screenshot below. The Taskbar does not replace the shelf in Chrome OS so you’ll want to make sure they play well together and do not clash.
Take note of the Position on screen option. I have both the shelf and the Taskbar app on either side of my screen which avoids button clash. Also, ensure you’ve checked the launch on boot tickbox.
Next, go to Advanced features. I have gone with a 2 x 2 grid for widget sizes as this seems to fit in nicely with my Pixelbook Go’s 16:9 display. You can set which widgets you wish to use later.
Using the app
Once you configured the app (and ensured you accept any permissions that pop up), you can go and add your widgets. There is a limited selection but I’ve gone with the clock, Notion, BBC News and Todoist.