According to Alex Ainslie, Google Chrome Head of Design, the new feature aims to help distinguish between features currently being tested by the Chrome development team, and the ones ready to be tested by end-users.
It should also help Google Chrome developers get more feedback on the browser’s updates as they’re in development.
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The new feature is called Chrome Labs and, when enabled, will display a small beaker in the toolbar. In order to activate it, Chrome Canary and Chrome Beta users need to enter chrome://flags#chrome-labs in the address bar. Once on the page, users should change the status from “Default” to “Enabled” in order to enable the feature.
Once enabled, and the beaker appears, users will be able to click it and choose from a dropdown menu of currently available experiments and features. According to Bleeping Computer, there are only currently three features in the works: tab scrolling, tab search, and reading list.
The first two are designed to improve the management of tabs in the browsers. The goal seems to be to enable users to search and scroll through tabs. Right now, users can just shuffle through tabs using the CTRL+1-9 shortcuts, or by adding dedicated shortcuts on their mouse.
Google Chrome has always had a page where users could find and test new features. However searching through tabs is not something that’s been supported on Chrome in the past. Furthermore, each individual feature needs to be enabled by the user, before they’re activated and available for testing.
With the new update, it’s easier to distinguish between those ready to be tested by end-users, and those mostly for the Chrome developers.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.