The Chrome stable channel for Android has a new update brewing, with a short new feature list. According to Google, the update will enable new gestures.

  • Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs.
  • Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view.
  • Drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.

We saw these gestures hit the beta channel last month and they seem to work well.

Users should expect to see the new update shortly, thanks to Google's new rolling release strategy. 

Source: Google Chrome blog


Reader comments

Chrome for Android getting updated with new gesture support


still useless to me without flash support so will continue to use Puffin, Maxthon or Firefox

It's too bad because there are still many flash websites. I'm not a fan of flash but as long as it exists I really wish I could view it.

Can you tell me what flash websites still exist? I find use of it only for streaming some games... I've never come up with a flash site for a long time.

I always watch the extended interviews of the Daily Show and it requires flash, so do a lot of News sites to watch videos on, as well as CBS CW and other sites that allow free TV and Movies. Flash video isn't just for porn, sick of idiots saying that.

In this day and age when Mobile devices are almost as powerful as a PC there really is no excuse for chrome mobile not to have flash built into it. Except the fact that Google knows they could lose out selling TV shows and Movies through the play store, taking a page out of Apple's playbook and that was why they would never use flash to provide free content from the internet to its users.

Chrome beta just updated alongside this and INVERTED the goddamn gesture. This sucks. Did this happen in stable as well?

I do too. I was invited to try it in normal chrome (not beta) and it worked well, but went away when I did a factory reset.

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Right! Flash will not go away anytime soon. Without Flash the surfing experience is lacking on Chrome. Other browsers that support it are closing the gap on Chrome. Firefox for one not only still supports it, but a lot of the add ons are great. Like desktop mode as oppose to mobile site mode. Come on it's 2013, our smartphones sport large screens with high resolution, and LTE...there is no need for mobile version of websites, those are for flip phones from "back in the day" era!

I don't think that limited data plans was the single reason for mobile version of websites. At that point in time, the hardware and software technology weren't as sophisticated as today. Many websites recognize the situation and provided an alternative format in order to accommodate mobile browsing. Since the content size also changed it also meant consuming less data.

Chrome blows. I literally converted my HTC One from a Google Play Edition with stock Android back to a Developer Edition with Sense because Chrome was so much crappier than the AOSP based HTC browser. Well, ok, there were other reasons too, but that was a huge one. The AOSP based HTC browser is nearly as smooth as Safari on iPhones. Chrome is nearly as smooth as the browser on my old Galaxy S2 running Froyo.

AOSP browser is superior. I can say that after using Chrome for a year and just recently switching back. Having the tab sync is nice but it's aggravating in every other aspect.

I agree. The stock ICS browser was far superior to any and every other mobile browser. It even still supported Flash.

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Why hasn't Chrome evolved to using proper tabs like its tablet counterpart? It works great for Dolphin. And what's Chrome's beef with allowing for history and home page settings? This still seems like one of those feature-lacking releases apps usually have when they're first released.

Make an easier way to get to bookmarks. Right now it's two button pushes to get to them. There should be a bookmark button right on the tool bar or some sort of gesture. This is my biggest complaint.

Chrome is dead to me until it has text reflow. If I wanted a Safari like, neutered browsing experience from 2007, I would have bought an Apple product.

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Ugh, a whole generation of Android users who don't know what text reflow is. See what you've done Chrome!

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They need to fix the resource leaks. I routinely need to force close the browser to make it usable, many times a day.

After a force close, it works wonderfully for a short while. Then back to being so slow it's unusable. This happened on Galaxy Nexus and the new Moto X.

As a brief update, I Had a theory that Swype may cause the issue.

I disabled Swype and it's basically fixed.

I'm probably the only one but I'll miss the old way of switching tabs (especially on my nexus 7) by swiping from the edges of the entire screen and being able to go quickly through multiple tabs in one gesture (now you have to swipe individually through each tab). It was one of my favorite features of chrome and made up for the often crappy performance (even on a new nexus 7 2013).

Anyone else feel that Android has peaked and is now slowly getting worse? I still love it but I find my self mourning removed features far more often than I am excited for new features recently (new Maps being a prime example).

I haven't gotten the update yet, I don't really care when it lags so badly when scrolling, the standard HTC and Dolphin browsers work great on my phone. Chrome however runs ok on my Asus tablet.

Uhhh I was desperately hoping Google would see the error of their ways and abort the terrible new tab switching method. Now it's trickled down from the beta to the stable release. I absolutely loved the way you could quickly shuttle through multiple tabs with a single gesture from the edge of the screen - the new one-tab-at-a-time method is hopelessly slow. And what is the point of swiping across the tool bar? If I've moved my finger from where it was previously positioned, why swipe when I can simply touch the tab I want to go to? It makes no sense.

Now that Google has ditched edge swiping I can only hope it's an indication that Chrome will soon feature the hamburger slide out menu. This would be some consolation for the disappointing new direction Google is taking with Chrome mobile.

I had a better internet browsing experience using the stock browser on the 2011 Samsung Droid Charge than using Chrome on the Moto X. I cannot reiterate enough how much a piece of **** chrome for android is. 1) The lag when scrolling is UNBEARABLE. 2) Font sizes are crazy when viewing forums. 3) Before you could swipe from anywhere on the side to switch tabs and now you have to go to the very top of the screen? How is this a gesture upgrade? 4) This browser is sloooow. I downloaded Next browser, it's fast, the tab screen gesture is SWEET, and forums have consistent font size! Too bad it has too much going on in terms of ui (weird looking new tab page, stupid rss reader).
I honestly don't get how this flies and how there isn't an uproar about google removing the stock android browser. At least offer the people the option to download the aosp browser through the play store without rooting. WHAT ARE THESE GUYS DOING CHROME ON ANDROID IS THE WORST BROWSER I HAVE EVER USED WHAT A POS JFSFJLSAKFJASLJFDLSKJF;LKSFJ;

People aren't uproaring because the AOSP browser is still included on most non-Nexus phones, albeit in skinned form. For what it's worth, I won't buy another Nexus phone until they fix the browser situation. I love the AOSP based browser on my HTC One.

After reading some comments regarding the lag improvement in chrome beta I just downloaded it and it doesn't seem to lag as much hmmm. Now all they have to do is get text reflow, remove that godawful text resizing feature that cripples forum viewing, and most importantly put the address bar at the bottom of the screen instead of the top.

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This browser has never impressed me. I wish it had the ability to sort my bookmarks by tapping and dragging them and the standard default options like alphabetically, date, most visited and so on. But my problem with Chrome's application and the major reason I hardly ever use it is because I usually launch browser by tapping bookmark on my widget that I want to visit. But long behold Chrome's browser widget is not displaying all the thumbnail pictures for pages you've visited. It's like it gets the first few pages I visit but than nothing. I seriously don't get it, my stock browser app caches webpage thumbnail pictures just fine but Chrome doesn't. And yes I know I can use stock bookmarks widget and just default it to Chrome but I want to just disable the stock Android browser all together. Oh and this is on my Verizon Nexus no root and no unlocked boot.

Works pretty well.

The one thing that I would love to see in Chrome is the option to have text re-flow enabled somewhere in the menu. It is the thing that I miss most from the Android browser. I appreciate that it should not be turned on by default, as if it were, some of the larger tech blogs would misinterpret the re-flow as lag in the browser and moan about it a lot.

For reading longer form posts on the web, being able to do so at a magnification that suits the reader is a huge benefit.

I prefer the old way of swiping between tabs anywhere along the vertical edges of the screen. Only being able to swipe in the toolbar is a pain and is hit and miss, doesn't work as well for me! It feels like a step backwards.

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