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Latest Chrome for Android update expands Custom Tabs options, improves web app integration

Chrome 57 for Android will be rolling out in the Play Store next week and Google has outlined some the new features it's going to deliver.

Published onMarch 17, 2017

The latest Chrome update for Android is rolling out soon and Google has detailed some of the new features you can expect to find when it lands.

In Chrome version 57, the Custom Tabs options menu will be identical to the dedicated Chrome app’s. Until recently, users were limited to options like share, copy and open in full browser, but now they will have the full range of options like bookmark, request desktop site, find in page etc.

According to 9to5Google, the Progressive Web Apps which are added to your home screen will also come with “significantly more features and access to Android” in Chrome 57, and will appear in system settings like an individual app. Google launched these features in the Chrome Beta app in early February.

Further, 9to5Google states that the new Media Session API means Chrome notifications can pull more metadata and have more controls. On sites which have audio, for example, you could see info like song title, artist, and album in your notification tray when playing a song, alongside controls for navigation. It’s a useful addition.

Chrome 57 to limit power consumption for background tabs

Google also announced the following changes via its Chrome blog:

  • More frequently updated article suggestions on the New Tab page
  • Use recently visited search engines as your default search engine
  • See Physical Web suggestions, based on your surroundings, in the address bar

The number of websites (and no doubt people) taking advantage of Progressive Web Apps is still very small so much of the recent updates could just slide by for the moment. But, in the coming months, you can expect to see many more developments regarding them.

Look out for Chrome 57 (57.0.2987.108) rolling out in the Google Play Store over the next week.