From channels to flags and A/B tests, Google has a whole host of ways to test new Chrome features before they launch for all users. Chrome is now getting an “Experiments” pane, marked by a new beaker icon, right in the main UI to make it easier to test new features and send feedback.

Between the Extensions list and your profile avatar in the top-right corner of the browser, Google will soon show a new icon. After tapping the beaker, you’ll get a curated list of Experiments that the Chrome team wants to get more feedback on during the development process.

At the moment, this includes the “Reading list” that was announced on Tuesday with a revamp of Chrome Profiles, Tab Search — which is available on Chrome OS but still coming to desktops, and Tab Scrolling. The latter lets you have the tab strip “scroll left and right when full.” All are very user-facing/enhancing and prominent.

There’s an explanation of each capability with a dropdown to turn on and a “Send Feedback” button. This is essentially the chrome://flags interface but in an easier to understand and more accessible, manner.

Chrome Experiments becker

Namely, it’s less intimidating and reduces the chance of end users enabling an unintended feature that could negatively impact the browsing experience. It also reminds them of the test features they have enabled and what to disable in case something breaks.

This feature is currently live in the Canary channel (Chrome 91) and will be coming to the Dev and Beta channels. It can also be manually enabled with the following flag:


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Abner Li

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