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With the first beta channel release of 2022, the Google app introduced a bug that sees its Chrome Custom Tab break and all web pages open in your default browser on Android.

Update 11/12: This issue was fixed via a server-side update and the toggle is now usable.


Original 1/11: Previously, opening a Discover article or Search result would open a seamless Chrome Custom Tab that essentially keeps you in the Google app – it featured a custom toolbar and was quite fast. You’ve always been able to turn off the CCT and have links open in your default browser.

This Google bug sees that latter ability become the only option, and makes for a slightly slower experience that’s accompanied by a second or two of animations due to opening an entirely new app. Furthermore, it’s annoying if you’re only glancing at the current page for a few seconds and need to quickly go back to Search results.

Besides the functionality bugging out, the relevant preference toggle in Google app settings > General is also broken. “Open web pages in the app” is grayed out and should be enabled, but that’s clearly not the case.

The Google app 13.0 beta rolled out on Friday and this browser issue persists in version 13.1 from yesterday. It comes as Google Search on Android was testing a custom, non-CCT browser for most of last year. That experiment was fortunately disabled in recent months, and hopefully Google has abandoned that custom approach with unsynced cookies and history being annoying flaws of that approach.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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