Chrome Prepares For Google Photos-Based New Tab Backgrounds


A recent Chromium review commit has been spotted that allows an image from Google Photos to be used on a new tab page in the Chrome browser. This will be made possible via a new option that's currently in the Canary Channel of the browser, and lets users pick their own wallpaper. Since there's no indication that this will be platform-specific, whatever custom background is chosen could reasonably show up across all devices that are being synced via the logged in account. Moreover, by pulling directly from Google Photos, the process of getting the task done would be simplified. Rather than downloading an image directly and then selecting it from the file explorer, users could just sync it directly from their account. That would make it much easier for users who want to customize their look frequently without wasting time on extra clicks and multi-window navigation.

For now, the feature to change the new tab page background isn't showing up outside of the hidden 'flags' settings so it seems to still be in testing. If development continues relatively smoothly, it should eventually be made an option without the need to access the hidden settings at all across each of the browser's channels. For now, the commit indicates that only a single image can be chosen. That isn't necessarily likely to remain the case either if the feature is rolled out more widely. Some other devices under the Chrome umbrella, such as Chromecast, already allow Google Photos feeds to be rotated through at various user-selected intervals. The search giant might ultimately choose to limit that functionality to save RAM and other resources but a cycling background image option remains a possibility.

This is actually the second wallpaper-focused update Google has recently made to its Chrome-branded products, as an update noted in June showed work on a new Chrome OS wallpaper picker which also had the option to display randomized images from a set of pre-set categories. While no Google Photos integration was seen in those previous commits, it's not unlikely that the company plans to bring a similar functionality across all Chrome products.

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Junior Editor

Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]

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