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Chrome’s newest experiment gives your URL bar a new lease on life

Chrome’s newest experiment gives your URL bar a new lease on life

Despite enjoying the lion’s share in the browser market, Google Chrome hasn’t slowed down its pace of experimenting. Last year, it introduced a slick new way to navigate or perform a task without having to leave the address bar. Now, Google is making the feature — called Chrome Actions — available in the Beta channel for everyone to try.

If you’re not familiar with it, typing phrases like “translate this page” or  “edit passwords” will instantly return relevant inline buttons that can be clicked to perform the task. At launch, Actions was a bit limited and mostly worked with Chrome settings. But Google is now expanding its scope and is making it possible to open a new Google document or manage Google account settings, amongst other things.

Screenshot 2021 05 27 at 3.00.08 PM

Google says you should be able to check out the new Chrome Actions if you’re on the Beta channel. If it isn’t available yet, try enabling the following flags: chrome://flags and enable #omnibox-pedals-batch2 and #omnibox-pedals-default-icon-colored. Even then some of the advertised actions might not work. I couldn’t trigger the “create new Google doc” or the “manage Google account” Actions, but your mileage may vary.

Until now, making the most of the address bars involved using custom search engines, but Chrome’s Actions take away the legwork.

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