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Five tips to soup up Chrome for Android

Ryan Whitwam | Aug. 2, 2016
Google's browser had a lot to offer if you know where to look.

Tap to search

chrome android tips tap search

Get quick answers without leaving the page.

The internet is a big place full of wonder and a great many confusing things. If you're ever in need of a little context while browsing, Chrome has a very useful way to search for things. Simply long-press to highlight a word or phrase, and you can instantly search for it without even leaving the page you're on.

The text you highlight appears in a Google bar at the bottom of the screen—maybe you've seen it a dozen times and never thought to investigate further. Tap it or drag up and you'll get a Google search page. It starts just partially open so you can see if there's a handy knowledge graph card at the top. You can continue sliding it up to get a regular page of search results for the words you highlighted. When you're done, just slide it back down and you're where you started.

Scroll anchoring

chrome android tips anchor

Never tap an ad by mistake again.

One of these most aggravating experiences in mobile browsing is when you attempt to tap a link as a page is loading only to have the page jump. Best case, you tap an open space. However, you'll often end up tapping an ad instead. You can stop that from happening again by enabling scroll anchoring.

This will involve another trip into the Chrome flags, but this time you're looking for a flag called "#enable-scroll-anchoring." Flip it to enabled and prayers won't jump during loading anymore.

Recent tabs

chrome android tips recent

Find all the tabs from all your devices in one place.

One of Chrome's most powerful features on Android isn't exactly hidden, but the generic name bellies it's awesome usefulness—recent tabs. This isn't just the games recently open on your phone or tablet, but on all your Chrome devices.

This feature works automatically, you just need to take advantage of it. You'll find the recent tabs list in the overflow menu and at the very bottom of the new tab page. Open it, and you have recent tabs from your current device, but below that is a collapsible list for watch phone, tablet, and computer with Chrome installed and logged into your account. You never have to worry about emailing yourself a link again.


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