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Google Updates Chrome App with ‘Minimized Custom Tabs’

Alphabet Inc.’s Google LLC has announced the Chrome app’s new ‘Minimized Custom Tabs’ feature, designed to simplify the tricky process of opening a webpage inside an app.

With the Chrome M124 update, the US search giant is providing users with the ability to open in-app webpages in picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. Such functionality allows them to switch between apps and webpages without losing a browsing session.

Chrome developers demonstrated the new feature by clicking a link in the Gmail app, which opened a floating browser window.

The global release for the feature has yet to be known, but some Android users can confirm its availability on their devices if they see a new down arrow in the top-left corner of a native webpage.

Tapping the arrow should minimize the window into a floating one in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Google Enhancing and Simplifying the Web Browsing Experience

Google’s new PiP web browsing function came as it is working on transforming web access into a more built-in experience on Android.

In recent months, the California-based company has rolled out artificial intelligence- (AI) powered features such as Circle to Search and other AI updates that enable web search via simple gestures such as tapping or encircling an object or text on the user’s screen.

With Minimized Custom Tabs, the tech firm is placing significant focus on seamless integration driving multi-tasking across surfaces, which improves the in-app browsing experience. The PiP function was initially intended for video content.

The new feature will be available to Android apps that use Chrome Custom Tabs, a function that helps developers directly provide tailored browser experiences in their apps. The update might also aid developers further app engagement and mitigate the risk of non-returning users.

While Minimized Custom Tabs can currently only be accessed on apps with Chrome-based mobile browsers, Google hopes other browser developers will consider integrating such a feature.

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