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5 Hidden Android Tricks for Better Browsing in Chrome

1. Advanced gestures

Chrome Android

You probably know that you refresh the content of a web page by swiping down when you are at the top of it. What many people do not know, however, is that it is possible to change tabs by swiping the page’s address field sideways. The fast tab switcher is great when you have several tabs open at the same time, but there is of course a limit to what can be considered manageable. By placing your finger on the address bar and swiping down, you get a much clearer view.

2. Make Reader mode more generous

In Chrome there is a “reading mode” that makes non-mobile friendly sites easier to read for small screens. Reader mode strips away ads, social interactions, side menus, and so on, until only the actual content remains. When reading mode is available, a popup will appear at the bottom of the first screen.

Chrome Android

However, it is quite rare that Chrome will offer to activate the reading mode for you, which you can change by fiddling a little under the hood of the browser. You access these settings by typing chrome://flags in the address bar. We urge caution on this page, as too much experimentation can lead to unwanted bugs and functionality loss in Chrome. Anyway, scroll down a good bit and you’ll find it Triggers read mode, or #reader-mode-heuristics as it is called in computer language. Here you set yourself when the pop-up Mobile Customize page should be displayed when you browse Chrome.

3. Press (and hold) to search

Chrome Android

If you ever need a little more context around what you’re reading about, it’s easily arranged. There’s a really useful search trick in Chrome (that most people might discover by accident). Tap a word or phrase you want to know more about, hold for a millisecond and see the Google search appear at the bottom of the page. It is free to pull out the selection if you happen to miss a word. Then you can even drag the little pop-up up to preview the search results.

4. Attach the scroll

Chrome Android

You load a news site, click on a yummy ruby, only to be greeted by an ad that was loading while you clicked. That frustration doesn’t go away, especially when it happens over and over again. To avoid the page jumping in this way, we go back to chrome://flags. Look up Attachment point for rolling, or #enable-scroll-anchoring and toggle the feature on and off to your heart’s content. Snap snap snap, and the side jumping was over!

5. Recent Tabs

One of the most powerful features in Chrome might not be particularly hidden, but the generic name doesn’t exactly do it justice. This feature syncs all your devices running Chrome, allowing you to resume what you were doing on your computer before you ran to work this morning. Smart!

You will find the function at the bottom right when you choose to open a new tab in Chrome. Here you will find browsing history for all your gadgets connected to the same Google account. Keeping emailing links to yourself so you don’t forget them is so 2014.

Translation: Billy Ekblom

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