Google Chrome toolbar to get more pinnable buttons

Google Chrome DG AH 2020

Google Chrome is one of the best web browsers and is constantly innovating to stay ahead of the game. But this time, it seems Chrome is taking a page (pun intended) out of its competitor Microsoft Edge’s playbook, with a new feature that lets Chrome users customize their toolbar for a more streamlined browsing experience.

Back in October 2023, a tip from X user Leopeva64 gave us an early look into what Google was preparing with pinnable toolbar buttons. They discovered a new feature in Chrome Canary, the browser’s experimental version, that allowed users to pin buttons to the toolbar from a handy side panel. This sparked discussions about Chrome catching up to Edge, which already offered similar functionality.

Fast forward to April 2024, and Chrome underwent a redesign. The familiar side panel button, a square icon that resided near your profile picture, vanished. This change means users will no longer access features like Bookmarks, Reading List, and History with a single click. Instead, Chrome now encourages users to access these features through the main menu. While some found this change jarring, it hinted at Google potentially exploring other ways to manage these functionalities.

Chrome to let users pin more buttons on the toolbar

Now, it appears Google is ready to unveil its next move. The same eagle-eyed Leopeva64 is back, this time with exciting news. According to their findings in Chromium’s source code, Google Chrome is gearing up to allow users to pin many more buttons directly to the toolbar.

This is a significant shift for Chrome’s desktop users. Traditionally, Chrome offered limited customization options for the toolbar. You could choose which extensions you wanted readily available, but core browser controls remained fixed. Edge, on the other hand, gives users more freedom, allowing them to remove unnecessary buttons like the “Forward” button next to the “Reload” button.

The upcoming Chrome update seems poised to surpass even Edge in terms of customization. Leopeva64 discovered a list of 19 different buttons that users will potentially be able to pin to their toolbar, giving them control over a wider range of functionalities. This includes quick access to features like Bookmarks, History, Reading List, incognito windows, password manager, payment methods, downloads, printing, translation tools, and even a QR code generator.

While the exact rollout timeline remains unclear, it’s likely to be a few months before this feature reaches the stable version of the browser. There’s also a chance it might not make it to the stable version at all. However, given its potential to enhance user experience and give Chrome a leg up on Edge, hopefully, Google will make it a swift implementation.

It’s not the first time Chrome has borrowed from Edge

This isn’t the first time Chrome has borrowed inspiration from Edge. Earlier this year, Leopeva64 revealed that Microsoft was introducing extension support for Edge on Android, a feature currently missing from Chrome mobile. This move suggests that Chrome might consider adding extensions to its mobile platform as well, although there’s no official confirmation yet.

The upcoming toolbar customization feature in Chrome is a welcome change for users who crave a more personalized browsing experience. With a wider range of pinnable buttons and the potential for future improvements, Chrome seems determined to maintain its dominance in the web browser world, even if it means learning a trick or two from its competitors.

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