A Google Chrome update is revamping the way you search on mobile so you can find the information you’re looking for quicker than before. In total, four new features are being introduced.
Starting from the top, Chrome will now show relevant search suggestions whenever you tap the address bar on certain websites. The example given by Google is to imagine yourself “reading an article about Japan as you plan for an upcoming trip.” Upon tapping the URL of said article, a section called Related To This Page will appear below giving “suggestions for other searches” from local tourist attractions to restaurants. This feature will be available on both iOS and Android.
What won’t be coming to iOS (at least initially) is a list displaying all of the trending Google searches for a day. You’ll be able to see the list by tapping the address bar on a freshly opened tab. The company says this will hit Android phones first. Later on in this year, Chrome on iOS will get the same thing although an exact date wasn’t given.
Third in the Chrome update is the seemingly exclusive upgrade to Touch to Search on Android. Moving forward, whenever you highlight text on a website, a carousel of related topics will appear at the bottom of the page so you can quickly learn about the topic at hand. There is a chance you won’t be able to see the carousel as Touch to Search may be deactivated. Detailed instructions on how to activate the tool can be found on the Chrome Help website.
And finally, “typing in the Chrome address bar” on the iOS app will now display 10 suggestions instead of six. The Android app has had this feature for a while now. This is just Google updating the iPhone version so it’s on par.
Potential desktop changes
The company says all four updates are currently making their way to all users so keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives.
As for Chrome on desktop, officially there’s nothing officially new. However, a report from TheVerge reveals the download tray on the web browser is in fact seeing some changes. There is a ring animation that will now appear displaying the progress of a download. Plus the tray will list every file “you downloaded within the previous 24 hours” alongside options to pause, resume, retry, or cancel the download.
It’s unknown when the desktop changes will be released. As we said, Google hasn’t said a word about it. We asked the company for more information regarding the download tray upgrade as well as clarification on some of the mobile features. We wanted to know if it plans on extending the Touch to Search carousel to iOS among other things. This story will be updated at a later time.
Update 8/4/23: A company representative got back to us with new information. First one, they were able to confirm the new download tray for Chrome on desktop is indeed an official update and is currently rolling out to all users. Second, the list of trending Google searches will reach iOS some time in late Q4 2023; near the end of the year. And as for the Touch to Search carousel for iPhone, all they said was Google is exploring some options. Nothing definitive.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.