Chrome 94 arrives with Material You, multiple windows and more; see what changes

In its shortest update cycle, Chrome received another bundle of news this Tuesday (06). Interface based on Material You on the Android version 12, change to tab grouping and optional “HTTPS only” mode are some of the new features of the time; Check out everything that came out in the update in the next paragraphs.

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New interface with Material You

Finally, the details of the Material You design language land on Chrome for Android . A series of visual changes make up the set, including new colors, rounded corners in more elements and dynamic theme.

The dynamic theme gives a new tone to the Chrome screens and adds color details to various elements (Image: Renato Santino/Canaltech)

It is not certain that the new look of Chrome will also arrive for older versions of the Robot System, but that chance still exists. Last week, Gmail was updated to the new visual standard also in previous editions of Android, so nothing would stop the native browser from going in the same vein.

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Activate this function by enabling chrome://flags/#dynamic-color-android and chrome:/ /flags/#theme-refactor-android in the experimental resources menu.

“HTTPS Only” mode

The HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol is almost a standard for all the internet, being the most interesting alternative to protect the privacy of users. Google has been working on expanding the model for some time, warning the user that the site is not secure and that it is not recommended to share personal information on pages that adopt simple HTTP.

With the new mode , Chrome will automatically check if the website you’re on supports the most secure protocol — and if it does, it will opt for it. If HTTP is the only option, the browser will stop the user’s browsing even before loading the page.

Idle Detection

The controversial part of the update is the idle detection enabled by default in Chrome. It is an API (that is, a tool aimed at developers) whose purpose is to point out when a user changes screen, has no mouse and keyboard activity, or has no recording tool enabled.

When it was first introduced, the tool was criticized by devs of neighboring browsers, such as Firefox and Safari. Idle detection, designed to support collaboration tools along the lines of Google Docs, would also be a means of monitoring the user and recognizing their habits in depth.

Changes in groups of tabs

If you use Chrome on your cell phone, you may have noticed that, for some time now, new open tabs are always grouped with the one you are currently accessing. The change, despite not significantly affecting the experience of those who do not open dozens of pages simultaneously, bothered users by insisting on using the groups feature.

New tabs are not automatically grouped with the original page (Capture: Igor Almenara/Canaltech)

Chrome now tries to change this scenario and makes it easier to open new tabs without this act creating a group and making all that mess in management of tabs. When pressing and selecting a link, the user will have two different options: “open in a new tab” (which opens the page in parallel, as expected) and “open in a new tab in the group”.

Activate this function by enabling

chrome://flags/#enable-start-surface (in the option “Enabled Single Surface V2 Finale”) and chrome://flags/#enable-tab-grid-layout (“Enabled without auto group”) in the experimental resources menu.

Multiple Chrome windows Feature provided in a test version of the browser, Chrome’s multiple windows finally reach the general public. Basically, the function gives the mobile browser the ability to open two instances simultaneously, just like the desktop does when opening a new app window.

New windows are displayed in split screen (Capture: Igor Almenara/Canaltech)

The function still doesn’t seem to work very well, so enable it aware that errors may occur more often than usual. In the experimental features menu, find the new feature at chrome://flags/#instance-switcher.

Anonymous guide protected by password

In this version of Chrome, the experimental feature regarding the use of passwords to protect activity in anonymous tabs also arrives. As with iOS, users can protect their discreet tabs with authentication registered on the device (on Android, only available via biometrics).

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On iPhone, anonymous guides can be protected by Face ID (Image: Playback/Bleeping Computer)

The feature doesn’t seem to be working yet, but it’s worth keeping an eye on it as it may work properly after minor updates. In the menu chrome://flags, the function can be found at chrome://flags/#incognito-reauthentication-for- android.

New pages in design Material on PC

Reinvigorating interface details, Chrome PC settings pages have also been reworked. Details about this new interface have already been notified by Canaltech previously and don’t change much the browser experience.

For the changes to start appearing, the pages need to be activated in chrome://flags/#webui-branding-update .

Chrome Availability 1024

The new Chrome 94 is being gradually distributed, as is every Google application update. If it hasn’t appeared on your device yet, it’s worth waiting for the update directly on the Play Store and the App Store. For PC, the search for compilations can be done in “About Google Chrome”, in the “Help” section or download from the official website google.com/chrome.

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