Google is always experimenting with the Chrome interface, though a lot of these tests just end up being cancelled — looking at you, Chrome Duet. While the bottom navigation interface is probably gone for good for now, the company continues testing other novelties, and the latest change to hit the toolbar is a customizable shortcut between the address bar and the tab switcher.
For some people, Chrome Beta 92 added a new button between the address bar and the tab switcher — a new tab shortcut for some, and a share option for others. We’ve already seen Chrome experimenting with these layouts, but it looks like there’s more to these random a/b tests. As one of our readers shared with us, you can customize the button in Chrome Canary 93 (93.0.4536.2 and later, to be specific). By default, you’ll get a button that fits your usage, but you can also choose to have the new tab shortcut, the share button, or a voice search option hard-coded instead.
The toolbar options can be found in settings under Advanced -> Toolbar shortcut. If they don’t show up for you yet in Canary for some reason, you can also enable the entry by activating two flags: chrome://flags/#adaptive-button-in-top-toolbar and chrome://flags#adaptive-button-in-top-toolbar-customization.
While the controls are incredibly finicky right now, with the algorithm behind it mostly suggesting voice search out of the blue for us and the shortcut even disappearing altogether at times, the customizable element is a neat addition to Chrome. It certainly reminds us a little of Vivaldi, a Chromium-based competitor with incredibly versatile interface tweaking options, and can only make us dream of even more customization opportunities coming to Chrome.
You can download the latest version of Chrome Canary on the Play Store or over at APK Mirror.