Back in February, a new version of Chrome changed the way that users activate a custom search engine in the Omnibox: instead of indicating the engine and beginning your search string with a tap of the space bar, you had to press tab instead. Long story short, everybody hated it, so Google reverted the change and tried something else. Well, the tab-to-search functionality is back ... but don't worry, it's buried deep in Chrome's Flags menu.
If you love to live on the bleeding edge of software releases, and also prefer Microsoft's flavor of Chromium browsers to Google's, then I have good news for you. The Canary build of Edge is now available on the Play Store, the better for the big M to test out its newest features on a wider subset of users. Go grab it now if you're so inclined.
If you're using the Canary version of Chrome, you might have noticed the reading list icon hanging out on the right side of the bookmarks bar, just under your profile pic and the main settings button. This is a new feature as of Chrome 89, hidden by default in the standard release but available via a flag, and enabled by default in Chrome 91 Canary. What's also present in that build, and which wasn't before, is the ability to hide it with a quick right-click.
Google tries out a lot of tweaks on its early Chrome browser and Chrome OS builds, though most of it isn't immediately user-facing. In the Chrome 91 build some of those changes will be more obvious thanks to the Experiments menu, previously called Labs. You can find it by clicking the beaker icon that's now next to your user icon in the menu bar, and it's now enabled by default on Canary.
Let's be honest: searching for a decent screen recorder for your Chromebook sucks. Most "free" screen capture software found online requires you to pay an expensive subscription to unlock essential features, like unlimited and high-resolution video recordings. Although a video capture card will give you full control, like the ability to record using your Chromebook's native resolution, not everyone wants to invest in a costly desktop computer. The developers at Google seem to have realized that people don't want to pay a subscription to get decent screen recordings, so they finally decided to add a native solution to Chrome OS.
The unthinkable happened: You just deleted the wrong file by accident, and it happened to be a school essay that you spent days working on. If you didn't save a backup of the document on your Chromebook, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to get that file back. With Windows, the Recycle Bin gives us a second chance to restore a file or folder you deleted from the file manager, but with a Chromebook, the files are permanently erased from your device. It sure looks like the developers at Google have become sympathetic to us accidental-deleters, and are working on a way to bring back recently deleted files.
We all know how annoying it is when your internet connection suddenly drops out. While PC operating systems have built-in diagnostic features to help frustrated users get back online, Chromebook owners have had to download and install the Chrome Connectivity Diagnostics app manually. With the clock ticking on Chrome apps, it looks like Google's trying once again to bring user-friendly network diagnostics to Chromebooks, in the form of a new native tool.
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.
Live Caption, which was first introduced during Google I/O 2019 as a Pixel 4 exclusive, is a game-changing addition to the suite of accessibility features built into Android 10. Using Live Caption allows those with deafness or other hearing disabilities to follow along with video content, while Android generates captions in real-time. It appears that the feature may be getting ready to make the leap from smartphones to computers as work is underway to bring the feature to Chrome, according to a new code commit to the Chromium Gerrit.
Black Friday has come and gone, but we're not done with pre-holiday deals by a long shot. Cyber Monday is upon us, and the deals refuse to quit. A whole bunch of what we're seeing today is an extension of sales that have been running since last week, but there's plenty of new stuff, too. Here, for your convenience, we've rounded up all the best deals we've spotted.