In April this year, Google introduced an in-app browser to replace the previously used Chrome Custom Tab within the Google App. While the in-app browser disappeared with an update released in early July, it has now made its comeback with the latest beta update.
The new beta update comes with version 11.21. There are a couple of new options added, but it's still far from being perfect. Even the "Browser" submenu in the settings section returned with this update.
There is a toggle to disable or enable the open web pages within the app. Users can now also turn on the "Safe Browsing" option to protect from unsafe websites. As seen in the Chrome app, there are also options to "Clear browsing data" and "Site settings."
Google App once again comes with an in-app browser
When a new link is opened, the lock icon shows whether the traffic to and from the website is encrypted or not. Besides, there are also shortcuts for adding to the collection, share, and an overflow menu. Other new features include the "Find in page" option, which can be found inside the overflow menu.
Even with all these features, it still doesn't make a perfect alternative to the Chrome Custom Tab implementation. However, this might be helpful when Google tries to integrate custom new features in the future.
Since the in-app browser works independently, the logins, cookies, and other browsing data can't be synced with the Chrome app. If the user tries to open the website in the Chrome browser, which can be done from settings, the process becomes slower as it needs to open a separate app and load the web page in full.
Users can also completely turn off using the in-app browser from the settings menu. That said, the Google app will open up the Chrome app when the user tries to open a website. This can clutter the user experience, especially on budget smartphones with a lower RAM capacity.
Talking about the Google app, it includes a personalized feed with weather and news updates. Based on user preferences, it also includes custom updates for sports, events, stocks, and movies. The Google app also shows what's trending on Google and comes with built-in Google Lens.
Compared to Chrome, the search on the Google app is mostly done through voice rather than text. With these recent changes, the company could be cooking up new features.