One underrated Chrome feature on Android performs a subtle Google lookup when you highlight anything on the web. Chrome’s Tap to Search has now gained some Material Theme tweaks.

Tap to Search — originally Touch to Search — dates back to 2015 and activates when you select any text on a page. This surfaces a bar at the bottom of your screen that loads Search results for the highlighted query. For quick lookups, you don’t have to switch away from what you’re originally viewing, while there’s the option to “open in new tab.”

Learn about topics on websites without leaving the page. Tap to Search sends a word and its surrounding context to Google Search, returning definitions, pictures, search results, and other details.

A quiet update in recent days has redesigned Tap to Search with Material Theme tweaks. For starters, the bar is now a sheet with rounded corners. It’s more obvious that you can drag to open instead of just clicking.

There’s now a button in the top-right corner that lets you open the full result in another tab, while Tap to Search no longer takes up the entire screen when expanded. It’s a minor change, but one that continues to modernize the look of Chrome for Android.

The feature — available in both the browser and Chrome Custom Tabs — can be enabled/disabled from Settings > Sync and Google services > Tap to Search. This new look (chrome://flags/#overlay-new-layout) is widely rolled out with the latest version of Chrome 79.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: