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flags

15

Our recommended Chrome flags to test on your Chromebook

Our recommended Chrome flags to test on your Chromebook

There are several new features and tweaks in Chrome OS 86 that are unfortunately not part of the default Chrome OS experience. They are likely not stable enough to be kept enabled for everyone. Some of these experimental features are tucked behind a page where they can be manually switched on or off. You can find these switches, or "flags," for trying experimental features by typing chrome://flags in Chrome’s URL bar and hitting enter. Here is a list of Chrome flags I recommend trying out.

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66

New Chrome Duet only has three bottom buttons, makes you choose between tab switcher and share

New Chrome Duet only has three bottom buttons, makes you choose between tab switcher and share

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.

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15

Chrome testing new media playback controls that work with background tabs (Update: Available for all)

Chrome testing new media playback controls that work with background tabs (Update: Available for all)

 

If you're playing music or a video in a Chrome tab you're not looking at and want to pause it, it's a bit of a hassle: you have to navigate to that tab, press the button, then drudge back to the previous tab. The whole process probably only takes a couple of seconds, but an upcoming change will make it easier. Chrome Canary now has a flag to enable "global media controls" in the toolbar.

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35

Chrome Beta 80 removes experimental Reader Mode and gesture navigation, deprecates FTP support, and more

Chrome Beta 80 removes experimental Reader Mode and gesture navigation, deprecates FTP support, and more

After a short rollout delay, Chrome 79 is now widely available on desktop and mobile platforms. That means Chrome 80 has moved up to the beta channel, and while there are a few new features, there are far more removed features. Let's dive right in!

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2

Google Chrome might soon get media control buttons for cast content

Google Chrome might soon get media control buttons for cast content

Google recently added a 'global media controls' flag to Chrome that lets you control foreground and background media right from the browser's toolbar. The feature has since arrived on the stable release of Chrome, though it still needs to be activated via chrome://flags/#global-media-controls before you can use it. To make it even handier, Google seems to be working on adding the ability to control cast content via these playback buttons.

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12

Google Chrome 78 has a redesigned long-press context menu

Google Chrome 78 has a redesigned long-press context menu

Google Chrome 78 has been rolling out to the stable channel over the last few days, and among improvements to local file management and automatic verification SMS pasting, we keep finding changes here and there. One of these is a redesigned context menu that flies towards you with a spiffy new animation when you long-press a link, image, or video. It has been available as a flag in one form or another for more than two years, but Chrome 78 seems to have activated it for most people.

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8

Google Chrome desktop's Tab Groups feature gets colorful, Send to Self teases history list

Google Chrome desktop's Tab Groups feature gets colorful, Send to Self teases history list

Tab grouping is a feature many Chrome users are excited to get, especially since other browsers have been capable of similar for a while. The feature is still a while away from being released in the stable version of Chrome, but the latest update in the Canary channel includes colors for each group and automatically opening links from the same site in the same group. The Send to Self feature for sharing tabs with Chrome on another device now has a history page.

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37

Chrome Duplex UI updated with bottom bar that mirrors top toolbar options

Chrome Duplex UI updated with bottom bar that mirrors top toolbar options

Google Chrome's Canary build offers "bleeding edge" features so they can be tested ahead of possible graduation to the more stable versions of the app. Recently, Google has been experimenting with the traditional top-positioned toolbar in response to ever taller Android handsets, first by moving the whole thing to the bottom (Chrome Home), and then by replacing that with a swiping up gesture to access the new tab page (Chrome Duplex).

The latest evolution of this test — controlled by the #enable-chrome-duplex flag in chrome://flags — introduces a brand new bottom toolbar that exactly mirrors the options at the top of the screen.

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13

Android P feature spotlight: Developer options has a hidden list of 'feature flags,' just like Chrome

Android P feature spotlight: Developer options has a hidden list of 'feature flags,' just like Chrome

Most of us are already aware of the existence of Chrome's hidden flag menu, which holds an exceedingly long list of toggles for experimental features, but what you probably don't know is that Android P now also includes a similar list that's hidden away in Settings.

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32

Chrome for Android is testing a 'breaking news' push notification

Chrome for Android is testing a 'breaking news' push notification

Whether on mobile or desktop, Chrome always has a few experimental tricks up its sleeve. You can find these at chrome://flags where they can be enabled or disabled. Google uses these to test new features ahead of turning them on permanently, and lots of what we love about chrome started out as an optional flag.

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