With the release of Chrome 45 yesterday for desktops and Android devices, Google introduced a new feature called Custom Tabs that it previously demoed at its Google I/O developer conference earlier this year. With the introduction of the new feature, Google today posted the Google Dev video above offering a walkthrough of the new features for developers and sharing some details on performance improvements for users.

The feature first appeared for Android users in the Chrome 45 Beta about a month ago, but as the release is now available to all, it’s now something that’s bound to improve your experience for webpages loaded within apps once developers implement it. Previously app developers would resort to using a “WebView”, a framework that allows a webpage to open within a native Android app, or linking directly into Chrome, forcing the user to leave the app and switch back once they are done with the webpage. However, Custom Chrome Tabs, Google explained, offer a number of benefits for an improved experience for users:

Chrome custom tabs allow an app to provide a fast, integrated, and familiar web experience for users. Custom tabs are optimized to load faster than WebViews and traditional methods of launching Chrome. Apps can pre-load pages in the background so they appear to load nearly instantly when the user navigates to them. Apps can also customize the look and feel of Chrome to match their app by changing the toolbar color, adjusting the transition animations, and even adding custom actions to the toolbar so users can perform app-specific actions directly from the custom tab.

In addition, Google notes that Custom Tabs get to take advantage of all the security of a normal Chrome tab and also get functionality like saved passwords, autofill, Tap to Search, and Sync. In the image below, Google gives a look at how the new Chrome Custom Tabs compare to the old alternatives.


Developers interested in learning more about how to implement the new feature can do so with Google’s guide here

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.