Google first announced Chrome Custom Tabs at its 2015 developer conference. Although the handy feature has yet to see a wide rollout, it looks like that’s beginning to change. The latest version of the Google app on Android will now open up search results in Chrome Custom Tabs.
For those unfamiliar, Chrome Custom Tabs aim to blur the line between your mobile browser and a standard application. They’re optimized to load much faster than WebViews and traditional methods of launching Chrome, and also feature autofill, saved passwords, and many other features that are built into Chrome.
When you perform a Google search on your device, simply click on a link and a Chrome Custom Tab will open. You can also share or copy the link, find text in the page, and refresh the page by clicking the overflow menu on the top right. If you aren’t a fan of this new browsing method, you can head to Settings>Accounts & privacy and click the Open web pages in app toggle to turn this off in the Google app. It should also be noted that Chrome Custom Tabs only open with mobile search results; websites suggested by Google Now will still open up in the full version of Chrome.
As of right now only a few apps take advantage of Chrome Custom Tabs. Twitter for Android started using them back in November, and the Google+ app adopted the functionality in January. There’s also a wonderful app in the Play Store called Chromer that will open up all your links in Custom Tabs. I use this app every day, and you should definitely check it out if you need more Chrome Custom Tabs in your life.
To get the latest version of the Google app, head to the Play Store link below.