Chrome Beta

New navigation paradigms are more natural, cut down on accidental actions

Chrome Beta has just received a notable update that changes many of the usage and gesture paradigms in the browser. Most notable are the new ways to switch tabs — a swipe down on the toolbar expands the tab switcher (previously only revealed with a tap of the tab button), and swipe left or right along the toolbar to switch between open tabs. This is a far more intuitive way to manage your tabs, and completely prevents accidental tab switching when scrolling pages.

For navigating the Chrome Beta menu, you can now tap the overflow menu button and keep your finger pressed, sliding down the menu options and releasing your finger on the one you'd like to select. Google has also implemented a new one-finger zooming paradigm that is most memorable from Google Maps — double tap the screen and hold the second tap to either slide up or down to zoom in or out on the page.

Other notable features in this release include universal image search (long press any image and you'll have to option to search Google by that image), access to device motion for developers and more media and graphics API support. If you're willing to put up with frequent changes and some instability and exchange for the latest features, you can grab a download of the latest Chrome Beta at the Play Store link above.

Source: Chrome Releases

There are 22 comments

jimj21 says:

I can't get the gesture to work to reach the tab switcher on the Nexus 7 (2013). Everything else works fine that I have seen on the N4 and N7

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jedivulcan says:

I can't figure it out either.

itmccb says:

The tab switching UI is for phones only because they don't have the tabs spread out across the top of the screen like tablets.

mwara244 says:

Also tab switching from side to side swipe is nothing new, it's been there for a while because when scrolling a full site I accidentally swipe into another tab all the time and find it annoying and wish there was a way to turn it off for over a year now.

RonD says:

Pull down on the top bar, not the top edge of the screen which will give you the notifications.

chronophilos says:

I've been hoping for the Maps zooming gesture to find its way onto other Google apps. Much more convenient than pinching in and out IMO.

a3uge says:

Maps does have one handed scrolling. Double tap with your thumb, but on the second tap, hold your finger down. Then scroll up and down.

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a3uge says:

Oh right, totally misread that. I agree 100%.

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joeynumbers says:

This is a very welcome update. The new tab switcher is a huge upgrade.

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kasperkyd says:

Nothing like Opera

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jnrbshp says:

The only part that sucks is now you have to reach to the top of the page to switch a tab...

Argh says:

One day I'll get the Google Maps v7.x update from the Play store to be able to have this zoom option again!

I actually had it on my old Galaxy S3, but when I got a replacement one, the Play store only updates it to 6.x.

I'm not that bothered, or I'd install an APK, but it would be nice if it came through at some point. I seem to have the latest Play store and Play services, so any dependencies there should be satisfied.

Some other people on XDA also seem to have experienced this issue with the update "being withdrawn".

Ken Muise says:

That universal image search the shizzle. Already having fun with it.

Saturn1217 says:

Ugh! I am getting so tired of Google messing with the rather wonderful chrome UI while continuing to ignore performance issues...

Particularly on my Nexus 7 the ability to quickly swipe through many tabs by swiping in from the side was my FAVORITE feature. I just tried the beta and the new tab switching sucks! And now I know that eventually it will make it to the stable release version no matter what I do. The same with the disappearing tabs at the top instead of a proper switch to and from full screen mode.

What I don't understand is why there is never a checkbox to enable (and disable) these new potentially disrupting new features. I though Android was about customization and choice...

Sorry for whining but every time I think I've grown to love google chrome for android they change something else or introduce a new bug (still can't read forums on my nexus 7 unless they have a mobile view due to crazy font resizing). I also get the feeling like I'm the only one bothered by it. I suppose next they'll remove the ability to increase font sizes through accessibility and then I'll just give up on tablets...

My complaints are strictly about Chrome beta on the nexus 7. Also tried it on my galaxy nexus and on a phone these changes all make sense and work great (although reaching the nav bar isn't easy one-handed).

Meleagru says:

Couldn't agree more. When did Google start catering to the lowest common denominator, i.e. the idiots that accidentally switch tabs, and killed the only reason that I'm still using Chrome?

bloo0153 says:

Just because I accidently switch tabs doesn't make me an idiot. I have nothing against making the feature an option.

miknxn says:

Might give it another try..thanks for the info.

v¡a ACapp njo¡!

Iceitic says:

Despite all the changes, which I think are wonderful, people are always going to complain because they don't suit their specific needs. And if it doesn't fit their specific needs, they will claim the updated version is bad for everyone. Sigh, doomsayers.

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Until they include thumb controls I'm just not interested, despite it being an otherwise excellent browser in many ways I just find them to be far and away the quickest and most intuitive way of navigating the web and any browser that doesn't have them feels like a step back to me.

cason_lanier says:

I love the new update. It fixes one of the biggest issue I had with the beta. That of being zoomed in while reading an article and trying to move across the page and instead switching tabs.

cammykool says:

how do i use the unified image search?

rap1 says:

I love the idea of unified image search. I hope they bring that to the right click menu on the desktop client.