Google Chrome version 93 has just launched for desktop and Android. These monthly updates can bring developers a mix of new features, tweaks, and changes, but version 93 also offers users several noteworthy enhancements, including improvements to Chrome Web Apps on the desktop, changes to the Android app’s user interface, helpful crosses device security options and more.
We’ll discuss all of the new features below, but if you’d like to download the Chrome 93 update now, here’s how (the same steps work on Android and desktop):
- Click or tap the three-dot menu at the top right of the browser window.
- Go to Settings> About Google Chrome to see if the update is ready to download.
- When it’s done, run the update, close the browser and restart it.
You can also get the latest version from the Google Chrome download page. Now for the novelties …
Desktop: Web apps can now be launched from URL links and support multi-screen devices.
Chrome 93 offers two new web app features for desktop users.
First, opening external web apps via URL links is now seamless. When this feature is enabled, clicking a link in Chrome will open the web app if it is installed on your device.
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For example, if you have the YouTube PWA with Chromewhen you click a YouTube hyperlink, the video will open in the PWA instead of a new Chrome tab. This won’t work for every web app as the developers will have to implement the feature themselves, but it will be a helpful change for the apps that support them. It’s also turned off by default and needs to be turned on by changing some settings in Chrome’s experimental flags menu:
- Open Chrome and go to chrome: // flags / # enable-desktop-pwas-url-handling
- Choose “Enables” from the drop down menu.
- Restart Chrome when prompted.
The other new feature is Multi-screen and multi-window support for web apps. This feature also requires a developer implementation, but Google predicts it would be useful for many types of web apps including:
- Multi-window graphic editors à la Gimp can place various editing tools in precisely positioned windows.
- Virtual trading desks can display market trends in multiple windows, each of which can be viewed in full screen mode.
- Slideshow apps can display speaker notes on the internal main screen and the presentation on an external projector.
These apps can now open multiple windows on one display or multiple displays at the same time, which should be a significant improvement for users with multiple displays.
Cross-device two-factor SMS synchronization
Starting with version 93, Chrome now automatically detects and synchronizes SMS login codes for two-factor authentication if you are logged into your Google account on multiple devices – at least for the websites that support it. This also requires a developer implementation, but it is likely that more websites and services will support two-factor synchronization in the future. Until then, you can see how the feature works with it Mock-up test page Google created.
Android: New Google Search UI and stuff you need for Android 12. support
Chrome 93 also brings some UI changes to the Chrome Android app.
First, the recently revised continuous results feed for Google search results has been refined. The new design was originally added to Android in Chrome 91 as an experimental test that lets you open and switch between pages using a scroll bar at the top of the Chrome window. The bar scrolls continuously through the search results, so you can quickly jump between pages.
Chrome 93 makes the cards easier to read and supposedly more responsive than their original implementation. However, to activate the new search results bar, you’ll still need to browse the experimental flags menu:
- In the Chrome Android app, go to chrome: // flags # continuous-search
- Enable the setting from the drop-down menu.
- Restart the app when prompted.
- After restarting the app, do a Google search.
- Select a website from the results. The new navigation bar for Continuous Search appears at the top of the search results.
Chrome 93 also includes support for Android 12’s Material You interface for Chrome Mobile, albeit as an additional experimental feature.
The Material You feature changes the UI for supported Android 12 apps based on your phone’s background and will likely be a standard feature in Chrome for all Android 12 devices once the new OS update is released in the coming months. For now, however, you’ll need the Android 12 beta. From there, enable the feature in Chrome’s experimental flags:
- Open the Chrome app and go to chrome: // flags # dynamic-color-android
- Choose “Enables” from the drop down menu.
- Restart the app for the changes to take effect.
- At the top of the feed, tap any of the URL info cards to open the page and scroll left or right for more options
These are the major changes for general users in Chrome 93, but developers can think about a lot more. You can read all of this in Release notes of the update.
[How To Geek]