Google Chrome makes experimental features much easier to test
Google this week announced plans to release major Chrome updates more frequently — from six weeks to four weeks. To go along with that news, the search giant announced it’s making experimental features easier to test as they’re in development.
According to Alex Ainslie (via 9to5Google), head of design at Google Chrome, Canary users (and soon Dev and Beta) can access a new beaker icon in the toolbar, making it easy to access Chrome Experiments. Google is hoping by making these experiments easier to find, users will share more feedback.
👩🔬 We hope to gather more feedback about @googlechrome updates as they’re in development. If you’re using Canary today (and soon Dev and Beta) you’ll notice a little beaker on the toolbar that makes it easier to try out new stuff and share suggestions about how it should evolve. pic.twitter.com/doPLzJbnRW
— Alex Ainslie (@alexainslie) March 5, 2021
Ainslie’s GIF shows features like reading list, tab scrolling, and tab search are all part of Chrome’s experiments. All of the features are pretty self-explanatory: Reading list allows users to quickly save articles to read later; tab scrolling allows users to scroll through their tab; and tab search allows users to search their open tabs.
Along with each experimental feature is a “Send Feedback” button, which users can click to share their thoughts on the new features. A few of these features we’ve already seen in various stages of development, with the reading list feature already part of Chrome 89, which is rolling out on desktop and mobile. Google seemingly still wants to continue soliciting feedback on the feature to make it a more prominent part of Chrome.
Chrome typically hides experimental features behind flags, which isn’t easy to access if you’re unfamiliar with how they work. And when they are enabled, it isn’t easy to see what you’ve turned on and off. This new experiment pane simplifies the experience and allows Google to focus on pushing features it thinks users might like.
If you’re brave enough to live in the Canary channel, you can check out Chrome’s new list of experiments. Otherwise, these features will more than likely make their way to a stable release, with the reading list already available as we said.