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The Google app beta is returning to Chrome Custom Tabs for now



Google has been working on a browser in the app for searching on Android for some time now. After being widely rolled out to the beta channel over the last few months, it has disappeared and returned to Chrome Custom Tabs.

Update 7/10: With version 12.26.10.29 of the Google app, the built-in browser is back and Chrome Custom Tabs has unfortunately been removed again. The update was very strangely rolled out on a Saturday.


Original 7/6: In late 2019, Google started working on a custom browser for the Google app, which was first shown live to users in April last year. It disappeared briefly in early July 2020 before returning at the end of that month. Since then, it has been widely available to beta users.

As of tonight, Google app beta users will no longer see the custom experience defined visually by an app / top and bottom line. When you tap a link from the Discover feed or search results, there is a four-color G-logo and a light strip at the top of the screen. It animates in the domain of the site after a few seconds, while the controls at the bottom allow you to go back / forward and share.

An overflow menu contains a number of options, including: Refresh, Find the page, Translate and more. The key feature available here was “Read Aloud” where the company could do more. It is unclear how widely Google tested / appeared in the app browser for stable channel users.

Browser in the app

Either way, Google is ̵

1; for the time being – back to implementing the Chrome Custom Tab implementation for beta users. This provides a much more consistent experience with third-party apps, such as Twitter, and allows you to quickly “open in Chrome” without having to reload the page, thus maintaining your scrolling position. You also stay logged in to all your existing sites for easy browsing.

This old approach is there for the Google app 12.25 and the just released 12.26 beta. If you force to stop the application, links in custom tabs will open shortly after.

Hopefully Google sticks to CCT or allows you to use the same browser. The only option with the custom test experience is to turn it off and have all links open (after a second of app switching) in the default browser (Chrome) you have.

Chrome custom tabs

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