Google Chrome’s bottom tab “Duet” experiment has likely been killed off
In a bid to make Chrome easier to use on large screen devices, Google replaced Chrome Home with the Chrome Duplex split toolbar UI early in 2018. The new UI, which was later renamed Chrome Duet in order to avoid confusion with Google Duplex, moved some UI elements closer to the bottom of the display in order to make them easily accessible on modern devices. The latest update for the feature arrived late last year when Google started testing a new Duet-friendly UI for tab groups. However, it now seems like Google’s Duet experiment wasn’t successful as the company has done away with it in the latest Chrome beta release.
As per a recent report from Android Police, the Chrome 84 beta release has removed the two feature flags for Duet: #enable-duet-tabstrip-integration and @enable-chrome-duet. The flags can still be seen in the flags list in Chrome 84 if you enable #temporary-unexpire-flags-m82 and #temporary-unexpire-flags-m83, but enabling them doesn’t make any difference. The unexpire flags also have a description that reads, “These flags will be removed soon,” which suggests that Chrome Duet has been completely shelved by the company.
For the unaware, Chrome Duet in its current form adds a toolbar to the bottom of the screen that includes a few shortcut buttons. While the address bar remains at the top of the screen, it can be opened by tapping the search icon in the bottom bar. These features make Chrome slightly easier to use on large devices. However, with the latest Chrome beta update, users won’t be able to enable these features in the browser. It’s quite possible that Google might, once again, release a new UI layout for the purpose with a new flag. But for now, we have no information regarding any such upcoming changes.
Via: Android Police