Chrome 88 brought some quality of life improvements like better password protection and tab search, but more and more people are noticing an unfortunate regression on the desktop version. For ages, it's been possible to add custom search engines (under chrome://settings/searchEngines), which you can invoke with custom keywords followed by hitting the space bar or tab. You could set up "acom" or "tw" for searching Amazon or Twitter right from your address bar, for example. But now, reports are popping up left and right that the space bar shortcut isn't working anymore. People are forced to use tab, making them relearn a years-old habit.
If you're the type of person who keeps way too many tabs open across multiple browser windows — looking at you, Ryne Hager — a tab search feature would no doubt come in handy. Thankfully, that's exactly what Google has been working on. A functional version of the feature can be found in the latest Chrome OS 86 dev channel build, which suggests it'll be present in the next stable update.
Samsung Internet only recently got a big release that gave it third-party password manager autofill support and a new Chromium engine, but the developers are already hard at work on the next feature update, version 12.1. The browser's current beta adds a new grid view to the tab switcher, giving it almost the same layout Google Chrome is currently testing for many people.
Back in July, YouTube began testing a new Explore tab on the home page of its iOS app. Not many people saw it — only about one percent of users on that platform. Apparently feedback has been positive, though, because YouTube has announced that the test is now expanding to more platforms, including Android.
Right now there are two ways to access images uploaded to Google Photos from within the Google Drive desktop site. You can either access your photos from the "Google Photos" tab on the left or enable a setting that reveals your photos as files sorted inside an appropriately named folder. Next month, the first of the two options will be removed.
Google has just added a new Personal tab for results to search. Now if you toss in a term that might not otherwise trigger the personalized search results feature, you can manually move over to the Personal tab and make sure that compatible results appear. Results there can be easily limited to the content of your Google account across the company's various services. Searching for calendar appointments or emails just got a little bit easier.
Today we've got a quick tip for Chrome - a new method of switching between what we'll call "sibling tabs" in Chrome for Android when you've got apps and tabs merged.
First, what are sibling tabs? In Chrome on Android Lollipop, when users have tabs and apps merged (so Chrome tabs show up in the overview space), tabs opened using the "open in new tab" action will group together with the parent tab, making a nice little group that will stick together as you scroll vertically.
Now here's the tip: when you are looking at one of these grouped tabs, a simple swipe across Android's system navigation bar will jump between those tabs.
Before now, enabling notifications within the YouTube app would only result in an Android device getting alerted whenever the app had something new to report. Now, there's a tab in the sidebar that's dedicated entirely to these messages. Users can click on it to view their notification history, which should make it much easier to flick away future alerts without wondering if that action will be regretted later.
Notifications will presumably still pop up as before, they just now have a place to stay after they've been dismissed. For the sake of comparison, here is how YouTube's sidebar looks sans notification tab.
In July, Chrome Beta was updated with a new interface that more closely adhered to Google's new design vision - material design. Fitting with Google's occasional habit of stripping things down during major refreshes (see Google Maps on the web), many elements of the interface were sliced, rearranged, or simplified, including the tab indicator in the top right corner of the screen. Previously, the indicator showed users how many tabs were open, but after the redesign it simply displayed a square (or two stacked squares if you had multiple tabs open). This was a thorn in the side of many users, who missed the helpful bit of information.
If you're a Chrome Beta user who was getting bored with their weekend web browsing, we've got a tip for you - Chrome Beta for Android has an experimental "Accessibility Tab Switcher" flag that'll allow you to switch tabs in a compact, pleasing interface, also enabling you to bring back closed tabs with a handy "undo" button. That should take a little pressure out of your tab management experience.
To turn the Accessibility Tab Switcher on, just open up Chrome Beta and head to chrome://flags. There are plenty of other experimental goodies in there to, for those feeling adventurous.