Google is reportedly testing a new in-app browser UI for Search and Discover. Instead of opening webpages in fullscreen, the new UI uses a sheet that doesn’t extend all the way to the top of the screen.
9to5Google reports that the new UI is appearing for some users running version 13.37 of the Google app. It either shows the Google logo or the current query as the background above the browser sheet. The browser sheet has a pull tab at the top to help you minimize it and return to the previous screen or extend it to hide the background, along with buttons to close the sheet, share a link, add a bookmark, and open the overflow menu.
As you can see in the attached screenshots, the sheet also shows a “Running in Chrome” prompt at the top while the page loads. This indicates that despite the new UI, the app still uses a Chrome Custom Tab. Furthermore, the publication reveals that the new UI adapts to the content you open and automatically expands videos to fullscreen for a better viewing experience.
In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of the new UI and would much rather have web pages open in full screen. But given that the new UI brings all the controls closer to the bottom of the display, it could aid one-handed use on devices with large displays. In addition, it might make for a more intuitive browsing experience by providing some navigation context in the background. However, we’ll have to wait for a wider rollout to know for sure.
What do you think of the new in-app browser UI for Search and Discover? Do you think it would be better for one-handed use, or would you rather have web pages extend all the way to the top? Let us know in the comments section below.
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