Google is rolling out a pair of new Android widgets for Chrome today, while making official the previously experimental “Journeys” feature that lets you “revisit past explorations grouped by topic.”

New Android widgets

Like other apps updated for Android 12, Chrome is getting new widgets. “Chrome Shortcuts” is the highlight with two main layouts. The 4×1 configuration offers a pill-shaped “Search” field that immediately opens the Chrome Omnibox to quickly enter a URL or query. This is followed by a microphone that lets you start a voice search, open an Incognito tab, Google Lens, and even the offline Dino game. 

If you increase the widget’s height, the Search box takes the top line and the shortcuts row moves to the bottom. This widget either takes a light or dark background rather than adopting Material You Dynamic Color. The shortcuts are quite handy, with this widget style first introduced on iOS. Meanwhile, Google has also introduced a fun 2×2 homescreen object that lets you quickly play “Chromium Dino.” It’s whimsical and immediately opens a new tab.

The widgets are in the process of rolling out with Chrome 98, but you can enable them immediately with these flags:



More Chrome Actions

Meanwhile, there are several new Chrome Actions that can be entered in the address bar to quickly open settings and access other parts of the desktop browser. They will soon support more languages and come to mobile. 

  • “Manage settings”
  • “Customize Chrome”
  • “View your Chrome history”
  • “Manage accessibility settings”
  • “Share this tab” 
  • “Play Chrome Dino game”

Chrome Journeys launch

After debuting as an experiment in October, Chrome Journeys are rolling out now on desktop (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Turkish). This is Google’s attempt at auto-grouping visited sites and search queries by topic. The idea is to make it easy for users to return to their previous research. 

If you enter a query you previously looked up, the Omnibar will ask if you want to “Resume your research.” All topics also appear in the Chrome History Journeys page: 

Journeys will even take into account how much you’ve interacted with a site to put the most relevant information front and center, while also bringing you helpful suggestions on related searches you may want to try next.

You can delete any grouping, particular items, or turn off Journeys entirely from Chrome settings. Additionally, Google only syncs history on your local device rather than sync Journeys to the cloud. It might add that option in the future based on user feedback.

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Abner Li

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