Google Chrome users will soon be able to type out commands in the address bar – saving them time. The change, which is slowly rolling out at the moment, will save users from digging through the settings menus to find the option they’re looking for. Instead, starting to type “delete search history” in the address bar will summon a shortcut for the option.
Like triggering a new Google search or navigating to a website, users will be able to hit the Enter button to select the suggestion. Google was one of the first companies to repurpose the address bar at the top of the web browser – transforming it from a small text field where users would have to type out a URL in its entirety to an optional Google Search box, too.
With the latest addition, known as Chrome Actions, Google has expanded what users will use the address bar to do again. As well as being the starting point for a Google Search, typing out a URL and searching browsing history, it will also be used to find commonly-used settings to change options within the browser too.
Given the sheer amount of features baked into one small text field, it makes sense that Google doesn’t even refer to the address bar as an “address bar” anymore. Instead, it’s known as the Omnibox. Chrome Actions are included as part of the version 87 launch, which also brought a number of speed improvements for Chrome users on macOS, Windows 10 and Chrome OS. And those on laptops, the latest version of Chrome also included a battery life boost too.
According to the brilliant team at Techdows, who first spotted the new feature, Chrome Actions are slowly rolling out across the globe right now but aren’t available by default once your browser has updated to Chrome 87. Instead, you’ll need to make sure you dig into the setting menu to enable them. To do that, type chrome://flags into the Omnibox and hit Enter.
This will load a menu of hidden features which are still in testing, or not available to every Chrome user quite yet. Find the option marked “Chrome Actions,” and turn it on. As reported by Mashable, Google is slowly adding options to the Chrome Actions feature, so don’t expect to be able to type into the Omnibox to access every setting found in the browser’s settings menu.
As it stands, you’ll be able to use Chrome Actions to delete history, update browser, launch incognito mode, update credit card info, edit passwords, translate this.
The arrival of Chrome Actions comes after a busy few weeks for the Google team. The Californian technology firm is currently testing a new feature that would allow Chrome uses to search through their open tabs – to quickly find the webpage they’re looking for, without clicking on each individual tab to load-up the contents.
With the latest option, Tab Search, Google has added a new symbol next to the + icon used to open a new tab. Clicking the new button displays a search menu, similar to the one you’d use to search for text on a specific webpage, that begins to show tabs as they match your search. This works in a similar way to the way Google attempts to predict the search or website you’re looking for as you begin to type into the Omnibus (the web address and search box combo at the top of Chrome browser windows).
As soon as it surfaces the tab you’re looking for, you can click on the result to be thrown immediately to that open tab. Given that search is Google’s speciality, you don’t have to be exact when you’re searching for the content of a misplaced open tab. if you’re in the ballpark, chances are, Google will know what you’re looking for.
The new Tab Search feature, which was also uncovered by TechDows, should make it easy to quickly flick back between tabs. As more of us work and study at home, these productivity features will be crucial to help everyone keep track of their personal shopping tabs, group chats with family members, research for work, and more… without having to shut everything down at the end of the day and start fresh.
Unfortunately for those drowning in a sea of nondescript open tabs… there’s no word on when Google will roll out this feature to Chrome users worldwide. After suspending new features in order to keep its browser – which is comfortably the most popular on the planet, accounting for more than 60 percent of all desktop web traffic – stable as people adjusted to working from home, Google has started to resume work on exciting new additions.