[Hands On] Google Chrome’s New ‘Duplex’ Split Toolbar UI Replaces Chrome Home

[Hands On] Google Chrome’s New ‘Duplex’ Split Toolbar UI Replaces Chrome Home

As devices with 18:9 screens become commonplace, app designers have started to move key UI elements and buttons toward the bottom of phones’ screens in order to facilitate one-handed use. One example is Google Chrome: the experimental “Chrome Home” put the address bar within reach of your thumbs. It was discovered a few weeks ago that Google was deprecating it in favor of “Chrome Duplex”, a split toolbar UI, and on Thursday, Chrome Duplex became available in the latest version of Chrome Canary.

Chrome Canary (Unstable)
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
chrome duplex

The commit which first drew attention to Chrome Duplex’ existence.

To enable it, you’ll have to toggle the relevant Chrome Canary flags, as Chrome Duplex is still in development. It’s not difficult, however: simply navigate to chrome://flags#enable-chrome-duplex in Canary’s URL bar, select Enabled from the drop-down menu, and relaunch Canary. When it starts, you’ll see the new Chrome Duplex at the bottom of the screen, which you can swipe up or down on any website.

As you can see, Chrome Duplex works pretty much everywhere, and puts a lot of functionality at your fingertips. When you swipe up, you get suggested websites and articles you can visit with a tap.

Unlike Chrome Home, which relegated the address bar and other buttons to the bottom of the screen, Chrome Duplex reserves the space for suggested sites and articles. That’s a good thing and a bad thing — previously, you could navigate through the web entirely from the bottom of the screen with Chrome Home, but that’s not possible with the new UI.

Chrome Duplex can also interfere with websites from the looks of things, as I found it blocks some elements on web pages where something is meant to be drawn at the bottom of the screen. Still, Canary is an unstable build of Chrome, and we’re sure the kinks will be ironed out and improved over time.

It’s unclear if Chrome Duplex will replace the address bar at the bottom (or top) of Chrome for Android’s screen, but it’s clearly something Google’s serious about. In any case, you can download Canary from the Play Store and try it out for yourself.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Via: /u/lucasban (Reddit)

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

I'm the senior technical editor at XDA-Developers. I have a BSc in Computer Science from University College Dublin, and I'm a lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.