Not too long ago, Google disgruntled many power users by changing a shortcut in Chrome related to custom searches. Instead of being able to follow up a trigger word with a tap of the space key to start a custom search, Google forced users to press Tab. It quickly changed the trigger as it became apparent that people weren't willing to adjust their muscle memory that much. It looks like Google still hasn't decided on how to trigger keyword mode, as it's experimenting with activating it via a double space.
Live Caption is one of the most underrated features to come to Android in years. Whether you're hard of hearing, deaf, in a loud environment, or forget to bring your headphones, it automatically transcribes any audio coming from your phone for you. We long knew that Live Caption is on its way to Chrome as well, and you could even activate it via a flag in Chrome 88 already. And today, Google has announced that the feature is now available for everyone.
Google is slowly phasing out its older voice recognition technology in favor of the Assistant, and the latest Android app to benefit from the transition is Chrome — which is great news for multilingual users. A long-available flag has finally become functional, allowing you to retire the old voice search interface in favor of a snazzy Assistant look.
Google regularly introduces new features in Chrome through 'flags,' toggles that are only accessible through the chrome://flags page. Even though the flags page is hidden, Google also sometimes enables experimental features automatically in limited tests, leaving some to wonder what changed. Now it seems Google is working on a more obvious place to try unfinished features.
Late last year, Chrome began testing a very busy tab switcher interface with a grid layout, incognito toggle, Google search bar, and site shortcuts. A few reiterations later, we're now looking at a slightly newer approach which keeps everything nearly the same, but puts trending search terms at the forefront instead of site shortcuts.
Whether you're browsing different sites or buying something online, you likely rely on an autofill system to enter your usernames, passwords, addresses, and payment details so you don't have to manually type that data every time. Google already offers this in Chrome, but the interface is changing and adopting a more modern look that's anchored to your keyboard.
Chrome's team is always experimenting with new ways to surface content for your or speed up your search when you open a new tab page. Over the years, we've seen bookmarks, downloads, Discover content, games, top sites, and more, show up on this previously empty page, and now we've spotted another experiment called "query tiles."
Chrome flags are a nice way to try new things in the browser without really breaking anything. A couple of taps and you get new features, a few more taps and you revert them if they don't work for you. A new flag worth trying has appeared in Chrome Canary. It's basic, but handy: It makes sharing web pages a one-click affair.
Google has been working on a bottom bar interface for Chrome for what feels like forever and keeps changing the layout. Initially, the browser had its complete app bar moved to the bottom, while recent implementation left the bare address bar up top and put all buttons (new tab/tab switcher, home, share, overflow menu) in the new location. The latest iteration of the design, accessible on Chrome Beta and Dev, reduces the number of shortcuts on the bottom from five to three, and people aren't happy about it.
Chrome's new tab page is always undergoing design changes and improvements. One day you see shortcuts to downloads and bookmarks there, the next they're gone. The latest change involves article recommendations, which are now showing up for many users as larger thumbnails with text snippets.