Google search has come up with a new in-app browser as part of an update. As reported by Android Police, this looks like an attempt to bring yet another visual change to the design as Google tries some more innovation.
A new in-app browser is not the only update that has come to Google Search in recent weeks. Firstly, the company started testing new background headers for specific search results. Then the service began delivering more 'high-quality information'.
This looks like the company has aims to further innovate and update the search service. Whether the service actually needs all these changes and new updates is another matter. However, for some these refreshes will certainly be welcome additions.
New in-app browser comes to Google Search
Google started testing this in-app browser a short while ago. Generally, it looked fairly similar to the experience in the iOS app. It has a similar loading animation when you open websites for example.
However, there could be some issues with the implementation of this new update. Unlike Chrome custom tabs, the new browser is completely separate. This means no shared history, bookmarks, or logins.
In spite of all these problems Google will continue to keep pushing its new in-app browser. It has now gained its own Safe Browsing toggle and site settings options revolving around cookies and permissions.
In previous times, Google's app browser settings would only allow you to clear your browsing data. This would include all saved cookies and any cached data.
However, a new design of the settings site has begun surfacing. It has only come up for a few people and it adds two more entries.
It has added the Safe Browsing feature. Most people probably know this from Chrome that filters out dangerous, potentially malware-ridden sites. It also now includes a site settings option.
What this all means, in short, is that Google is almost recreating Chrome inside the Search app. However, it will not have the benefit of the shared logins, cookies, and other browsing preferences.
Below is a series of screenshots that illustrates the changes Google has implemented. On the right, we have the previous browser settings and on the left the new ones.
Users can check if they still have the old Chrome custom tab implementation. They can do this by opening a website through the Google app and tapping the three-dot overflow menu. If it says "Powered by Chrome" at the bottom, your logins and browsing history should be synced across.
However, if you are part of the in-app browser test and would like to keep using Chrome you can turn off the in-app browser in the Google app settings. This is accessible through the More bottom tab on the search results page. Many will hope that that Google will scrap the custom browser, as the Chrome custom tab implementation seems to make a lot more sense.