Back in June 2021, Google began testing a minor yet pretty useful change to the toolbar on Chrome for Android. It added a new customizable shortcut next to the search/address bar Omnibox, allowing users quickly perform certain actions. This shortcut now seems to be rolling out widely.
This toolbar shortcut lets you choose between one of three functions — new tab, share, and voice search. By default, Chrome will select a shortcut based on your usage pattern. But you can always manually switch it from Chrome settings.
Of course, the Google browser already offers all of these features. Voice search and share (when a webpage is open) options appear when you tap the address bar. A “New tab” button is available in the overflow menu as well as the tab switcher. The latest change lets you put one of those front and center for quick access.
This change was first spotted in Chrome 92 beta in early June last year. The initial test saw users randomly getting one of the three new action buttons between the Omnibar and the tab switcher. Google didn’t provide any explanation for the change. With Chrome Canary 93 a week later, it was finally clear that these shortcuts would be customizable.
The change started rolling out with the stable Chrome 92 build in July. However, it wasn’t a wide rollout and very few people got it. Google finally seems to be ready to bring the toolbar shortcuts on Chrome for Android to everyone. The company hasn’t officially announced this rollout. But the changes could be part of Chrome version 101, which is now available in the stable channel from the Google Play Store.
Perhaps, as 9t05Google speculates, the company may still pull out the toolbar shortcuts if it’s not yet ready for prime time. However, you can try your luck by installing the latest version of Chrome for Android. We have provided the Google Play Store link to the app at the end of this article.
Chrome for Android is preparing another nifty “shortcut”
Along with the new toolbar shortcut, Chrome for Android has one more important change lined up for a future release. The company is preparing to add the ability to restore multiple tabs at once, as you can do on the desktop browser. This will also act as a shortcut when you have to restore several tabs. We will let you know when this feature rolls out publicly. In the meantime, you can click the button below to download the latest version of Chrome for Android from the Google Play Store.