This story was originally published and last updated .
Chrome is Google's globally popular browser platform, and while the version for Android may not seem as powerful as the full-fledged desktop application, there's more than meets the eye. Chrome for Android has some hidden functionality lurking underneath the surface, and in this roundup, we'll go over ten of the browser's less-obvious features.
Microsoft Windows 7 was first released over a decade ago, and even though it has been succeeded by Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, it's still widely used in enterprise deployments. Google originally planned to stop providing Chrome for Windows 7 starting in 2021, but plans have now been pushed back to 2022.
It finally seems like people are becoming more aware about the importance of privacy online. Google has been working to improve its public image when it comes to user data privacy recently, including setting new privacy standards for Chrome extensions last year. Now the company is announcing an update to its developer policy that limits what developers of extensions can do with user data, as well as provides increased transparency regarding data-use practices.
Chrome 86 was a fairly massive update, with support for the Native File System API, various interface improvements, and new experiments to try out. Almost exactly one month later, Chrome 87 is starting to roll out to desktop and mobile platforms. There are more than a few exciting changes in store, so let's dive in!
Google Chrome is already (mostly) simple to use, but there is plenty of functionality that isn't well-documented or easily discoverable. That could be why Google wants to add video tutorials to the browser, which are now being tested in the Chrome Dev and Canary channels.
If you're somewhat wary of your privacy and don't want Google to keep track of all the sites you've visited, you're probably very familiar with Chrome's incognito mode, which allows you to navigate the web in a private session, preventing sites from accessing local cookies, and also removing all temporary data when you're done. While this is very useful for a variety of purposes — I'll let your imagination run wild, Chrome didn't allow users to take screenshots while going incognito until now. Thankfully, this is about to change.
Although it was previously promised, scrolling screenshots didn't make the cut for Android 11, leaving stock Android still devoid of the much-anticipated feature. But phones everywhere might get scrolling screenshots anyway and entirely separately from Android itself, based on the latest news. While it would be limited to a certain app, it's also probably the one you're most likely to want to take scrolling screenshots in: Chrome.
It's been a rough week for most Chromebooks following Google's ill-fated attempt to roll Chrome OS 86 out to the stable channel. Shortly after Google announced the major milestone update, I covered a slew of new features and improvement found within, including accessibility improvements, an improved login screen experience, and a refreshed gallery app. Although some people are enjoying OS 86 without problems, others are still anxiously waiting for the new update to land on their Chromebook. In a surprising move by Google, it silently pulled the build off the update server a couple of days before the update finished rolling out.
Google is already pouring tons of resources into helping us stay safe while we surf the web with measures like Safe Browsing for Chrome, and the company only recently introduced an enhanced version of this tool. It's widely available on desktops already, but it's only slowly rolling out on Android. If you want to get your hands on Enhanced Safe Browsing right away, there are two flags that will bring it to you.
Dark mode has been a popular feature request among Chrome OS users for a long time. Although the OS uses a "light" theme by default, it has some random splashes of dark elements, including the launcher and the shelf. Last month, I explained in detail how bringing consistency to the current "light" theme would improve usability, but at the time, there was no information about when a true, system-wide dark mode would ship. Sure, the launcher search bar got a bit darker recently, but what people want is to turn off the lights and minimize eye strain when using their computers over extended periods.