Last year, the Google app on Android ditched Chrome Custom Tabs when opening Discover articles and Search results. Google has now redesigned the custom in-app browser with a bottom bar to make it easier to navigate.

Update 2/9: This in-app browser redesign is getting a significant feature that lets users swipe up on the bottom bar with a new pull tab. This slides open a “People also view” sheet that features the Google logo up top and shows a feed of articles and videos related to the Discover or Search link you opened. Some content features full-width cards, while carousels are also present.

It makes for a Discover-esque experience and is a seamless way to see more about a topic while staying in your current browser window. Broadly, features like this is why Google opted for a custom browser experience for its Search app. It’s rolling out with the Google app 12.4 beta.

Original 1/14: While the old design placed controls in the top-right of the app bar, this redesign moves key actions to the bottom. There’s now the ability to navigate backwards and forwards, while “Share” opens the standard Android sheet. The right-most button opens a menu with the same options as before: refresh, open in Chrome, find in page, browser settings, and send feedback.

The app bar still has a close button in the left corner, while the HTTPS lock and domain is centered and Google’s bookmark feature is at the right. Meanwhile, both strips hide as you scroll for a clean look. 

Google app browser redesign

Google shows no sign of reverting to the previous Chrome Custom Tab implementation that was a universal Android paradigm. This in-app browser approach has its own site settings and the ability to clear browsing data, as well as enable/disable “Safe Browsing.” The only alternative is having all Discover content and Search results open directly in Chrome.

This redesign of the custom browser is rolling out with the latest Google app beta (version 11.43).

Old Google app browser

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com