Google Chrome on Windows 10: better touchpad zooming and scrolling - gHacks Tech News

Google Chrome on Windows 10: better touchpad zooming and scrolling

Windows 10 users who use Google Chrome as the default web browser on a device that supports touch controls may have noticed that Chrome's support for touch controls is not the best.

It is easy enough to find out that the browser's support for touch-based events is lacking if you compare it to touch support in Microsoft Edge. Whereas using a touchpad to zoom or scroll in Microsoft Edge is butter-smooth, touch events feel sluggish in Google Chrome.

Chrome is not the only program on Windows that feels sluggish when you use touch controls to scroll or zoom; in fact, I'd argue that most programs on Windows behave that way.

Chrome users could make use of scrolling extensions such as Smooth Key Scroll but these were not designed specifically for touch-based systems.

Microsoft uses the Precision Touchpad driver in Edge which is responsible for the smooth scrolling and zooming of the browser. The driver gives programs better control over touch events including multi-touch events.

If a browser or program does not support Precision Touchpad, scrolling, zooming and other touch-related events are not as granular.

Google rolled out support for Precision Touchpad in Google Chrome Canary yesterday. The cutting edge version of Google Chrome is a development build and it will take a while before support for the feature lands in stable versions of the web browser.

chrome-canary touch improvements

Windows users may install Chrome Canary next to other Chrome versions such as Chrome Stable or Beta.

You can download Chrome Canary from the official Google Chrome download site to give it a try right now to see if it improves touch related events in the browser. You do need a device that supports touch, for instance a Surface device with its trackpad.

You will notice that touch operations such as zooming or scrolling are improved significantly in Chrome Canary, and that new touch-based features such as swipe to go back or forward are supported as well.

While there is no ETA yet for when the improvement lands in Chrome Beta or Stable, it is likely that it will become available in the coming months unless bugs are discovered that delay the release further.

You can check out the main tracking bug on the Chromium website.

Now You: Do you use touchpads? What's your experience when using them?

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Summary
Google Chrome on Windows 10: better touchpad zooming and scrolling
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Google Chrome on Windows 10: better touchpad zooming and scrolling
Description
Windows 10 users who use Google Chrome as the default web browser on a device that supports touch controls may have noticed that Chrome's support for touch controls is not the best.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. chesscanoe said on March 28, 2018 at 1:14 pm
    Reply

    I happily use a full size wireless Lenovo mouse and disable the touch pad on my ASUS laptop. When the fix comes to Chrome x64 beta, I look forward to giving it a try, but suspect I’ll still use the mouse for image editing with various other programs, along with the latest Windows 10 Magnify.

    1. John Fenderson said on March 29, 2018 at 12:37 am
      Reply

      I keep the touchpads on my laptops disabled as well. Touchpads cause me nothing but grief due to their unfortunate placement below keyboards where I’m constantly touching them accidentally and messing things up. (No, those settings to disable touchpads until you’ve stopped typing don’t help).

  2. Ray said on March 31, 2018 at 7:36 pm
    Reply

    I’ve always had problems with using touchpad gestures with Chrome on my Asus Zenbook.

    I think it’s partially because of ASUS Smart Gesture, but I’m not 100% sure. Looking forward to the better touchpad support. I see that the bug report says the fixes have been committed so I’m guessing it’s going to hit Chromium dev builds soon.

  3. Andrew said on April 28, 2018 at 11:58 am
    Reply

    Is there any way to disable this “smooth zoom and scroll” feature for laptop precision touchpad? I just got the update on Chrome Beta v67 and really prefer the older zoom and scroll mechanism. Can we change this in Flags?

    1. chesscanoe said on April 28, 2018 at 1:28 pm
      Reply

      I am too old school to continue to try to fight how my ASUS laptop touchpad works. A wireless mouse has been my solution for years. However it will be interesting to see how the touchpad solution evolves.

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