No, the feature is not really new: almost six years ago, Google tested the Android version of its Chrome browser with a lower address bar. The idea behind it: With smartphones getting bigger and bigger, it should be easier to reach the URL bar with your thumb – including other important functions. However, the idea was quickly buried again, but then introduced with iOS 15 by Apple in Chrome’s competitor Safari. Since then, you can surf with the “Bottom Address Bar” in the iPhone’s standard browser if you don’t turn it off. Now we have come full circle: Google also wants to go back to this arrangement in Chrome for iOS.
The circle of browse
As leak expert and iOS developer Steve Moser on X (formerly Twitter) demonstrated, the latest Chrome beta, which the internet giant is distributing via Apple’s Testflight environment, comes with a new feature for moving the address bar. In the settings you can determine whether this should be placed at the top (“Top”) or below (“Bottom”). Alternatively, you can touch and hold the address bar with your finger to change its position.
As usual with beta features, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is actually implementing the feature – it could just be a test. The company may want to check how many users are actually using the change and how many are not.
It also works without a beta
If you can’t wait until Google implements the function in the public version of Chrome for iOS, but don’t feel like becoming a beta tester, you can activate the changed surfing experience in advance. However, there is no setting option for this, but you have to use a so-called flag, as Moser explains in his blog. All you have to do is enter the following command in the address bar:
Then close Chrome and restart the app. To bring the address bar back to its old place, enter the command again and move the switch to “default” or “disabled”. Still annoying: Although the address bar is down after activating the function, as soon as you touch it, it is moved up, which can be confusing.
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