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Here's something that you might not know about Chrome for Android: you can search for text within a web page by typing your query in the URL bar, without using the menu button to manually tap the "find in page" tool. When searching for non-URL queries, you can tap the first result with the magnifying glass icon in the corner to search the text of the current page.

2014-07-26 17.16.33 redarrow 2014-07-26 17.17.13

(If Chrome's URL bar auto-fills an address, just press backspace.)

It's a little-known feature - in fact, an informal Google+ poll from our own Artem Russakovskii found that less than half of over 700 users even knew it was there. Those who did know it was there said they used it frequently.

Unfortunately, the latest beta of Chrome for Android seems to have removed the URL bar text search feature. Check out the same process repeated below in the recently-released Chrome for Android 37 Beta:

2014-07-26 17.28.45 2014-07-26 17.29.21

Note that the more obvious "Find in page" tool is still there, accessible from the menu button in the action bar (or on your device's hardware buttons) just like it always was.

 2014-07-26 17.29.37

Obviously this isn't a huge part of the browser, and Google probably re-arranged it along with some other features in the sizeable Beta 37 update. Still, we hope it comes back before too long, preferably before build 37 gets published in the stable version of Chrome.

Source: Artem's Google+

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Colin Dinelli

    a refresh/stop loading button in the address bar would be nice too, no idea why they got rid of that

    • ThatBabyAintMine

      Well according to the Search designer's recent AMA on Reddit, they do this because:

      "So it would be much easier to leave in everything that’s ever launched. But then you end up with bloatware: an unwieldy array of ill-fitting modules that don’t work well with newer technologies (e.g., the shift to smartphones, or upgraded security, or touchscreens, etc.) and don’t really serve most of your users well either."

      So going by this, the refresh/stop button was considered "bloatware" and didn't work well with newer technologies (Material Design in this case). Personally, the Android dev team really needs to follow the mantra "If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT. Don't even touch it. Just change the UI and let it be."

    • WORPspeed

      I was just starting to use the search on page function, but the missing reload and stop buttons are a much bigger miss!

  • KarimMunir

    IMO, the fact that they removed the refresh button from the Omnibar and the number of opened tabs is more annoying that this

    • diotallevisheir

      Well, the number of opened tabs is obviously missing in preparation for the L release with their new multitasking and all. And about the relocation of the refresh-button: Let's be honest how often does one really use it? To me it's an understandable step in the way of clearing the interface up.

      • BAM1789

        I always have a few tabs open that I refresh just for ease and it's annoying to have to hit the menu button up top every time just to refresh.

        • pantagruel

          Well, you can always tap menu button and while holding it slide to appropriate item :)

      • anonyguest

        And if you're not on Android L, do you still have to suffer the numberless tab icon? And I do refresh often.

        • Crispin Swickard


        • Daniel Collins


      • Daniel Collins

        I really hate the idea of having all my tabs cluttering my multitasking bar… I hope you can turn it off… (Although I might want to use a second browser with that enabled, for the rare situations that it may be useful).

    • Artyte

      And auto complete arrow

  • Harsha

    Also the complete the query arrow, the refresh button in omnibar, number of tabs open and the back button in the menu.

    Why google, why!?😭

  • http://www.ronakg.com/ Ronak Gandhi

    I'm sure they did this because this must've caused lot of frustration with average users. It was the first entry in search results where you expect to see first suggestion of a website you are looking for. Finding a word within a page is definitely not a common use-case that needs to be accessed like this. Sure it worked very well for power users who figured it out, but it was an example of bad user experience in general.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Hmm, I think you might be on to something there.

      • andy_o

        The reason it wasn't well known was because it wasn't intrusive.You need to tap the icon itself at the far right, like Sukigu says.

        • godutch

          I accidentally used search in page most of the time, until I found out I needed to tap the 2nd suggestion. Good riddance to this big annoyance

    • https://twitter.com/sukigu_ Sukigu

      It doesn't seem like it was very intrusive to me. You'd still have to tap the far right of the first result, as tapping the rest of the button would trigger a Google search for the entered term.

      I actually learned about this nifty trick here on AP and began using it a lot. I noticed it was removed almost immediately after the new beta came out.

    • Malc Singer

      Frankly, its s***!

      Three totally unobtrusive functions which are - or more accurately, were - EXTREMELY useful have now disappeared.

      I'm all for minimalism but this I just don't get at all.

    • whispy_snippet

      That's a fair point. I can see how it could easily trip up the average user... Still annoying for us power users.

    • Gabriel Melo

      This is my impression. But, differently from what Google has done in this update, I wouldn't have removed that option, but rather move it to the bottom, separated from the search results, with a clearer icon. That would remove the confusion for the average user and keep the functionality for the power users.

      About the refresh button, it's not a good move to remove that button. There are lots of use cases for that button, two of them being the case where the user has a bad connection and wants to retry (even if that's placebo, it's something people DO) and the case in which the user lets lots of tabs open to revisit them and they're showing the cached version from last time and you have to update them. For these cases, it's pretty annoying to have the refresh button hidden. And the supposed advantage doesn't seem to be real in my opinion. The omnibar is simply not too cluttered - there's no need to remove a button for the sake of minimalism. Simply there's no gain.

      • godutch

        I use the refresh button a lot, to see if there are new replies

      • saf1927

        It's still there if you tap the 3dots menu.

  • thelionk

    The refresh button is gone, that's annoying

  • Thomas Wong

    as much as i like the design, as usual, some features are missing in
    light of a new design. eg now you can't see the no. of tabs in the "tab"
    icon, you can't directly "find in page" when you enter the search
    keyword in the address bar, and the "refresh/stop" button is hidden in
    the overflow button instead of at the right of the address bar. btw, why
    is the new tab page still not the default?

  • IrishSid

    I'm glad the refresh button is lower now. Saves my thumb a stretch to the top of the screen.
    The tabs numbers I'll miss, but I figured if there's only 1 tab open the will be one square, but 2 or more there's a stack of squares, so handy enough.
    And I never know about this articles feature tbh, but often use the find in page in the menu tab.

  • nader_m

    Another missing feature: adding bookmarks to home screen. At least in 4.4.4 and Nova Launcher.

  • Adrian Villanustre

    looks like latest chrome 37 BETA update is a kind of virus injecter or jaber . ... your first atempt to browse anything bring you the famous :
    " WARNING! Internet Explorer is currently out odf date. Please update to continue"
    and you know wath the results are.

    • I say lolwut


    • andy_o

      Sounds like you have actual malware in your computer. It's not chrome.

  • ///M

    I still miss the options of the AOSP browser. Full screen, pie controls, save page for offline... these are all missing in that stupid chrome. Is Google trolling us intentionally?

    • richardarkless

      They were nice features but the fact is that the majority of users did not use the features you listed

      • ///M

        Hah, no. Lots of people used save page for offline reading.

    • andy_o

      One option that the AOSP browser has that I haven't seen mentioned when I google if any other browsers have it (none that I could find) is the option for mouse hover action. You can do it by tapping and holding, then swiping away.

  • wahidm

    Quick find is still available in Firefox. Just type / and the required text.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    So it looks like mobile chrome will be even shittier than it is already

  • senor_heisenberg

    I just wish they'd bring pie controls back. With material, it could have some pretty sweet animation when you swipe in from the side.

  • Don’t find in page

    Hmm, didn't even know about that I always used the find in page option in the menu.

  • whispy_snippet

    Bring it back, sing it back.

  • Rudy Ballesteros

    This is a perfect example of if isn't broken don't fix it. Changing the ui is fine, but why would they change any of the features that has been Chrome mobile for a while. Why can't they have selective checkboxes in the setting page so we can choose our features instead of getting rid of them. Chrome on desktop has like a million different settings.

  • Marcus Allen

    The refresh button is located in the address bar when using chrome on a tablet but it does suck on the phone, I only found it by accident

  • godutch

    Good riddance to that annoyance, when I type in the url bar I want to do google search or go to an url, not find in page which I accidentally do most of the time and then painfully have to retype the query

  • OmniBar

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Baby, don't go!

  • Shasdo

    Why the "Select tabs" icon doesn't transform in the "+" to add icon ?
    It woud be one less icon so the clutter free freak are happy and they could give me back the stop/refresh back.

    When you tap on "select tabs", the icon becomes irrelevant since you choose the tabs you wants to go ot if you want to close the tab selection just click the same tabs you where on.
    And if you want to have another damn tab you have to stretch you thumb to the top left corner.

  • xdapao3

    Besides not liking the new design (LESS LEGIBILITY!!!! what is this iOS7-style crap?!?!?) I quickly noticed it... Very disappointed with it all.

  • Drago

    Damn it. I use that feature a lot.

    What is with the dumbing down of the functionality in Chrome, Google? Function over form, please.

  • Austin Haggerty

    If you wanna refresh the page just click the address bar, and hit the enter key on the keyboard. Better than nothing

  • Roh_Mish

    I used that and refresh button.