Google transforms your browser into a digital easel with Chrome Canvas

google chrome canvas launch screenshot

Google quietly launched a new doodling app that allows you to draw or take notes right within the browser. Called Chrome Canvas, the app helps showcase the power of the digital stylus that is available on many convertible and detachable laptops on the market today, like the Pixelbook Pen that can be purchased alongside Google’s Pixelbook laptop or Pixel Slate tablet. All you need to do to access the app is to navigate to canvas.apps.chrome in your browser.

The web app will work on the browser in Chrome OS, Windows, and MacOS, so you’re not limited to a Chrome OS-powered device. We tested Chrome Canvas by firing up the Chrome browser on a Windows 10-powered Surface Book, and Google’s new drawing app works as intended. Once Chrome Canvas launched, we were able to doodle using the Surface Pen, or my gliding my finger across the touchscreen. If you’re on a system without support for a touchscreen or stylus — like Apple’s line of MacBook laptops — Chrome Canvas also works with a mouse or trackpad.

The interface for Chrome Canvas is very simple. Users can select a number of pre-defined or custom ink colors and drawing tools include a pencil, pen, marker, chalk, and eraser. With the pen tip, you can also adjust how thick you want the ink flow. Sketches are automatically saved to the cloud on your Google account and you can also export your drawing as a PNG download. The app is great for drawing quick sketches or jotting notes while on the go. Users looking to take detailed notes during a meeting or a class lecture will want to find a more advanced note-taking software that supports handwriting input.

Even though the app has “Chrome” in its name, you can use it with any web browser that supports WebAssembly, like Mozilla’s Firefox browser, Engadget noted.

Chrome Canvas is a basic app and doesn’t come with any bells or whistles — you can check out our guide for some of the best drawing apps on the market today if you need additional functionality — but it does a good job of showcasing what you can achieve on a laptop with a touchscreen and a digital stylus.

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