Google Chrome is testing a new “Shortcuts” widget on Android
Google Chrome for Android is testing a new widget in the latest Canary release that lets you add Chrome shortcuts to your home screen. The new widget is available in Chrome Canary v93.0.4555.0, but you’ll need to enable an experimental flag to access it.
According to Chrome Story, you can try the new widget by heading over to chrome://flags and enabling the “Quick Action Search Widget” flag. Following that, you’ll have to restart the browser and then check the Widgets menu on your phone for the new widget. As you can see in the attached screenshot, the widget adds a search bar and four shortcuts to your home screen. However, it isn’t functional at the moment.
(Image: Chrome Story)
A new commit on the Chromium Gerrit suggests that the widget will officially be called “Shortcuts Widget” upon release. A separate commit reveals that one of the buttons on the widget will be a Dino button, and it’ll launch Chrome’s offline Dino game. It’s worth noting that a similar widget is already available on Chrome v90 for iOS.
According to MacRumors, Chome for iOS offers three such shortcut widgets. The Quick Actions widget offers a search bar, a shortcut to open an incognito window, a voice search shortcut, and a shortcut to open a QR code scanner. In addition, Chrome for iOS has two single tile widgets that let you perform a quick search or launch the Chrome Dino game.
Currently, we’ve only seen the large Quick Action widget in Chrome for Android. But the aforementioned reference to the Dino button suggests that Google may release the single-tile Dino widget on Andriod as well. We’re not sure if the Android version will get the single-tile Search widget or not.
As mentioned earlier, the new Shortcuts widget isn’t functional in the latest Chrome Canary release. So, it’ll probably be a while before it shows up on the stable channel. We’ll update this post as soon as the new widgets start rolling out to users.
Google is also testing a new Material You-inspired design for Chrome on Android. The redesign includes a minor facelift for Chrome’s overflow menu and adds Android 12‘s bouncy scrolling to the browser. You can read more about it by following this link.