Home / Technology / The Google app beta returns to Chrome Custom Tabs for now

The Google app beta returns to Chrome Custom Tabs for now



Google has been working with a browser in the App for Search on Android for quite some time now. After being rolled out to the beta channel in recent months, it has disappeared and returned to the Chrome Custom Tabs.

Update 7/19: Over the weekend, a server-side update to the Google app 12.27 has curiously restored Chrome Custom Tabs, and that change has persisted with the latest 12.28 beta.


Update 7/10: With version 12.26.10.29 of the Google app, the built-in browser is back, and Chrome Custom Tabs has unfortunately been removed again. The update was very strangely rolled out on a Saturday.


Original 7/6: At the end of 201

9, Google started working on a custom browser for the Google app that first appeared live for users in April last year. It disappeared briefly in early July 2020 before returning at the end of that month. Since then, it has been widely available to beta users.

As of this evening, Google app users will no longer see the customized experience visually defined by an app / top and bottom line. When you click on a link from the Discover feed or search results, there is a four-color “G” logo and light stripe at the top of the screen. It animates into the site’s domain after a few seconds, while the controls at the bottom allow you to go back / forward and share.

An overflow menu contains a number of options, including: Refresh, Find Page, Translate, and more. The key feature that was available here was “Read aloud”, with the company being able to do more. It is unclear how much Google tested / appeared the browser in the app for stable channel users.

Browser in the app

In any case, Google is currently back in the implementation of the Chrome Custom Tab for beta users. This provides a much more consistent experience with third-party apps, such as Twitter, and allows you to quickly “Open in Chrome” without reloading the page, thus preserving your scrolling position. You also stay logged in to all existing sites for easy browsing.

This old approach is there for the Google app 12.25 and the just released 12.26 beta. If you force to stop the application, links will open in custom tabs shortly after.

Hopefully Google sticks to CCT or provides the ability to use the same browser. The only option with the custom testing experience is to turn it off and have all links open (after a second of app switching) in the default browser (Chrome) you have.

Custom Chrome tabs

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