New Chrome for Android update adds several new gestures and reverse image search function

October 1, 2013

chrome

Today Google is rolling out a new update to the stable build of Chrome for Android, which brings with it several new gestures and a new image search function. If these features sound familiar, that’s because they’ve been available via the Chrome Beta browser since August.

So what exactly do these gestures do? First, you can now navigate through your open tabs by swiping on the top of the navigation bar. Second, dragging vertically down from the toolbar will cause you to enter the tab switcher view.  Lastly, dragging down from the menu opens it up and allows you to select any item easily.

As for the new image search function, think of it as a reverse image search. To use the feature, you simply select the image in question and choose the “Search Google for this image”, where you’ll find a list of sites that contain it.

To snag the update, head over to Google Play now. If you don’t see the Chrome for Android update just yet, don’t worry, the update will rollout in phases and should be available to everyone within a few days.

For those that have already updated, what do you think of the changes?

Comments

  • lil bit

    Didnt yet get the update but.. Im getting tired of gestures, some are not practical, they should be optional, theres no way to turn them off in Chrome for Android.

    Other than that, theres no way i stop using Chrome unless Google does something to really mess it up, i have no idea what people are talking about when say the old stock Android browser is better, i think they are just stuck in their old ways. Chrome for Android used to suck but has been greatest now since May 2013, which is fairly long ago in Android terms.

    • MasterMuffin

      The new gestures are much better than the old ones, the old ones made the browser laggy and it was easy to accidentally swipe to other tab.

      Funny thing: Opera Beta that’s based on Chromium 29 is faster and smoother than Chrome (though it has its many downsides but still).

      • lil bit

        Yeah i had some initial adjustment problems with the sideswiping tab switch. Good to hear the new method is better then.

  • MasterMuffin

    Gotta love beta, have been using these for a long time ♥

    • iJimaniac

      Interestingly I use Chrome beta but don’t have any gestures. Nothing in the flags either. Could be since device is low spec’ed, it disables then.

  • Mark F

    download link??

  • holoyolo

    That’s pretty cool. Can’t you currently change tabs by swiping anywhere from the side? If so, I think it’s cool that they refined it to where you have to put your thumb to the very top of the screen to change tabs. Also, too bad it doesn’t fix the horrendous scroll lag (just go to gawker/kotaku ton of other sites) and doesn’t fix the unpredictable font size when reading forums (nice going chrome team!).
    I’m just bummed they took out AOSP browser and made this pos the stock browser.

  • Android Developer

    Why did they remove the old gesture to switch between tabs (using the margins of the page) ?
    It’s easier than to do the same gesture on the address bar…

    Anyway, this web browser, like all of Android web browsers, can’t avoid crashing on heavy content websites such as this (test on a device with 1GB of RAM like galaxy S3 , in desktop mode) :
    http://imgur.com/a/GPlx4

    scroll to show all of the images. on the iphone (even iphone 4) it doesn’t crash and works quite smoothly.
    some web browsers won’t even show the animation of the gif images…
    I had the same experience with google images, while showing more and more images (though it took much longer to reproduce it).

    I think it just puts everything into memory without checking how much available memory it has.

    • george

      My Nexus 4 didnt experience any issues viewing that website…

      • Android Developer

        because you have a 2GB of RAM.
        try to find a heavier website, or use a device that has 1GB of RAM (or less).
        also don’t forget to change the mode to desktop mode.

        alternatively, you can install an app that shows the memory usage like “systemon” , and see that it really uses more and more RAM .
        usually that’s ok, but in my case, it actually closed other apps because of it, and in the end it crashed the app itself because the OS couldn’t handle the web browser anymore.

  • embar

    See, Google will steal everything from you! You think it as cool feature but it steals at back and sends all information! Ultimately they will chage a policy in legal document. Use android but not Google’s apps! u never know what they take and they also dont know what their apps do! Android boomed faster that they dont know how to control it!

  • Chad

    Booooooo. Swipe bar sucks vs swipe edge for tabs. The other two gestures (menu and preview) are pointless. Oh yeah…its super slow loading!
    Nexus 4

  • Moore

    So now you can only swipe to the next tab by reaching all the way up to the address bar? This is plain idiocy. It is much more uncomfortable, especially on large devices like the Note series.

    The old side swipe was my favorite feature with Chrome. You could open a while bunch of new tabs from one page and then effortlessly swipe between them. Now I have to reach to the top every single time. Hire cab you see that as an improvement? It utterly kills any attempts at one-handed use.

    Google, please revert this change. I’ll be going back to Firefox until you do.