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Google’s Chrome Canvas is like a cheap version of MS Paint right in your browser

Because notebooks are so last year.

google's canvas app in action
Image: Josiah Motley / KnowTechie

Ever wish you had an easy to use, simple, drawing app that you could use from any device that has a browser? With Windows, you have Paint, although it’s no longer simple with the new Paint 3D update. Google seems to wish you had one too, quietly releasing a new progressive web app (PWA) called Chrome Canvas.

Thanks to Chrome Unboxed, we got a heads-up about the nifty tool which lets users do simple sketches with a small selection of tools. It first started showing up on Chromebooks running development builds, but anyone with a supported web browser can use it at

Check it out

google chrome canvas in use

Screenshot: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Once you’ve navigated to the site and logged into your Google account, you get a pretty spartan UI. There are tools for Pen, Pencil, Marker, Chalk, and Eraser; all of which can be customized in size, color, and opacity. Pressure sensitivity also features on the pencil and chalk tools currently, if your device supports it.

More about Canvas

The really cool thing is that if you’re logged into Canvas on multiple devices, saving on one will sync it to all the other devices. That’s pretty cool and shows the promise of the modern web. Expect more of these PWA apps to appear, enabling you to do more in-browser.

You’re also not limited to Chrome, the Canvas app will run on any browser that supports WebAssembly, like Firefox. I tested it on Edge as well, but none of the functionality worked. That’ll change in the near future when Edge transitions to a Chromium-based rendering engine next year.

What do you think? Would you like to see Google expand on the tool’s functionality? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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