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Pro Tips on Google Chrome for Android that you’re probably missing out

by Felix Omondi
chrome for android

Chrome desktop browser has been around for ten years now. They celebrated their 10th birthday by releasing some material design, additional features, and improvements last Tuesday as we featured here. Though not everyone will love the new design, so we went ahead and shared a tip on how to go back to the previous design at this link. These changes also trickled down to the Google mobile version, Chrome for Android.

When Google’s mobile operating system started getting widespread traction, (Sept. 23rd 2008, with the launch of the HTC Dream aka the T-Mobile G1). Chrome for Android has consistently left the competing mobile browser in the dust. I honestly don’t think there is a mobile browser currently in the market that can match up to Chrome mobile.

Be that as it may, chances are high that you simply use the basic features the mobile browser has to offer. That is open the app, type in the URL (or perhaps go to your bookmarks, or history) and visit the site. You may not know some pro tips that make using the browser all the more satisfying, despite the fact Google having baked so many such features in their browser.

That said, in this article, we are going to share with you some few pointers that will make your Chrome for Android usage experience all the richer. The tips are as follows:

Add the Home button

The desktop version of Chrome has the Home button, and if switching to the mobile version, the lack of it makes things less convenient for you. You will be glad to know you can activate the Home button by going into the Chrome Flags section.

On the address bar, type chrome://flags/#force-enable-home-page-button. On the drop-down menu next to Force Enable Home Page Button select Enabled.Pro Tips on Google Chrome for Android that you’re probably missing out

Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and tab on Relaunch Now. When Chrome closes and opens again, you will see the Home button on the left side of the URL bar.

Swiping the URL bar to switch tabs

You probably know how to switch from one tab to the next by clicking the tab number icon located on the top right corner of the Chrome mobile browser. Doing so lets you switch between tabs by scrolling through the tabs up and down.

However, you can also switch between tabs by simply tapping the address bar, and swiping left or right. By swiping right, you switch to the tab to the right and swiping left let’s you switch to tab to the left.

Run Google Search faster and easily

Chrome browser is an extension of the Google Search environment, which means you are one step closer to running a search online whenever you’re using the browser. When reading content on a webpage and come across a word or something you don’t understand. Simply tap and hold on the word (or words) and automatically a Google Search will run bringing you relevant search result on the topic.Pro Tips on Google Chrome for Android that you’re probably missing out

The relevant search result will not open on a new tab, but as a pop up at the bottom of the page.

Enable Modern Design

Google is always working to improve the design and functionality of the Chrome browser across all platforms. There are some new designs that the average users never get to see as they are hidden away under the Chrome Flags experimental section.

To view these modern design, on the address bar type in chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-modern-design. And on the drop-down menu on the Chrome Modern Design tap on Enabled, and then scroll down to Relaunch Now to activate the changes.

Save a webpage as a PDF

There are times we find it necessary to save a soft copy of a webpage, particularly when we know, we might need the page later, but we might not have an internet connection then. Well, Chrome has a solution for that by enabling you to save the webpage as PDF. To save a PDF webpage,

Launch the Chrome app, go to the webpage you want to save, or rather download as a PDF. Then click the Share button and select Print. At the drop-down menu, select Save as PDF. Tap on the PDF button to download the webpage for offline viewing as a PDF file.

Add a Website shortcut to your Home screen

The tech world seemed to have gone all ‘steroid’ on apps. There is an app for this, an app for that, and just exactly where do they expect you install all these apps? Try installing too many apps on your phone, and you will be left with a constantly freezing phone.

Sometimes it is just better to access the mobile site than installing the app. That is why they came up with Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which is a hybrid of an app and a mobile website but most importantly does not eat up much of your device’s resources.

That said, you can add a website shortcut to your Home screen, and if the mobile site is PWA, it will behave just like an app. Even if it is not, having the shortcut on your Home screen saves you a great deal of trouble typing the URL on the address bar.

To save a website shortcut on your Home screen, launch the Chrome mobile browser, go to the site, tap on the three-dot menu and next tap on the Add to Home screen option.

You also get the option of changing the name and the icon of the shortcut on your Home screen. Next tap on Add Automatically to have the site placed as an app icon on your Home screen.Pro Tips on Google Chrome for Android that you’re probably missing out

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