Chrome for Android prepares to let you lock incognito tabs behind your lock screen
Last month Google rolled out Chrome 92 on the stable channel for Android and desktop. The new release brought improved site safety controls, support for new Chrome Actions, better phishing detection and site isolation, and more. As always, the latest version was also made available to iOS, which added features like support for full-page screenshots, improvements to Tab Switcher, and small UI tweaks on Discover, Settings, History, and Bookmarks pages. In addition to these improvements, Chrome 92 for iOS also added a nifty feature: the ability to lock incognito tabs behind your lockscreen. Currently, this feature remains exclusive to iOS, but it looks like Google might soon bring it to Android.
Chrome for Android is preparing to add biometric authentication for incognito tabs. A new commit has been merged to the Chromium Gerrit, adding a flag for a feature called “Incognito Reauthentication.” The flag description reads: “When enabled, a setting appears in Settings > Privacy and Security, to enable reauthentication for accessing your existing Incognito tabs.”
When enabled, this feature will likely use the BiometricPrompt API to show a system-provided authentication prompt when someone attempts to access any already-opened Incognito tab.
The flag for the feature has already been added to the Canary branch, and you can access it by pasting the following URL in the address bar: chrome://flags#incognito-reauthentication-for-android. However, the feature appears to be a work-in-progress as enabling the flag doesn’t surface the setting yet. Once the feature goes live, it will be accessible under Settings > Privacy and Security.
As mentioned above, the ability to lock incognito tabs isn’t live in Chrome yet. It will most likely roll out first to the Chrome Canary branch before making it to the stable version. If you want to be one of the firsts to try it out, you can download the latest version of Canary from the link below.
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