Chrome Beta to experiment with a more powerful New Tab page, web highlights, and search changes – TechCrunch

Today, Google is launching a new version of its Chrome Beta browser, introducing notable changes to its user interface and design. The browser will submit an updated New Tab page, including cards directing you back to past web search activities instead of only a list of shortcuts to favorite websites. Other changes aim to make it easier to navigate search results and highlight and share quotes from the web. The New Tab page’s update will be one of the first changes Chrome beta users may notice. The idea behind this design change is to get you back quickly to past web activities without diving into your browsing history to remember which sites you had been using for things like recipes or shopping. It can also help you return quickly to your recent documents list in Google Drive, in a handy bit of cross-promotion for Google services.

The page will now feature what Google is calling “cards,” not just links, which could direct you to things like a recently-visited recipe site where you had been browsing for ideas, a Google doc you need to finish editing or a retailer’s website where you had left your shopping cart filled with things you may like to purchase at a later date. The latter ties into Google’s more significant investment in online shopping, which has already seen the search giant trying to grab more marketshare in the space by making product listings accessible and partnering with e-commerce platforms like Shopify. Google is rightly concerned about Amazon’s surging advertising business, a large part of the retailer’s “Other” category that grew 87% year-over-year to generate $7.9 billion in the second quarter. Now, it’s capitalizing on Chrome’s New Tab real estate to elevate shopping activity to push users to complete their transactions.


Another change aims to make it easier to do web research. Google says that users searching for something on its platform often navigate to multiple web pages to find their answers. The new version of Chrome will experiment with a different way of connecting users to their search results by adding a row beneath the address bar on Chrome for Android that will show the rest of the results so you can navigate to other web pages without needing to hit the back button.

A new “quote cards” experiment, also coming to Chrome Beta on Android, will allow users to create a stylized image for social sharing that features text found on websites. Taking a screengrab of a website’s text is already an everyday activity, particularly for people who want to share a key point from a news article they’re reading with followers on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. With this new feature, you can long-press text to highlight it, then tap Share and select a template by tapping on the “Create Card” option from the menu.

All features are a part of the Chrome Beta browser. To enable experiments, type chrome://flags into the browser’s address bar, click the Experiments beaker icon, and then allow the flags. The associated flags for these experiments are the #ntp-modules flag (New Tab page), #continuous-search (search results changes), and #webnotes-stylize flag (quote cards). Experiments don’t necessarily become Chrome features that roll out more broadly. Instead, they offer Google a way to capture large-scale user feedback about its new design ideas so that the elements can be tweaked and fine-tuned before a public release.

Gemma Broadhurst
I am a writer by profession, and I love to write in my spare time. I am one of the most experienced writer for newspriest. I always make sure that whatever is written on my blog is 100% genuine and true. I am a University of Florida graduate pursuing a Master's degree.

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