Chrome for Android is testing an interesting approach to Google Search suggestions. Instead of tapping on a result from Google Search and being taken to a webpage and then having to navigate back to said results in order to choose another, enabling a new developer flag first discovered by 9to5Google will drastically change this user experience.
Continuous Search Navigation
Enables caching of search results to permit a more seamless search experience. – Android#continuous-search
As you can see, toggling this and restarting the app will add search suggestion chips under the browser’s Omnibox in the top wrapper which you will be able to scroll through and tap. Doing so will immediately take you away from the current page you’re viewing and to the corresponding search query on Google Search where you can then choose a new website to visit. I went ahead and did this on my Pixel 4, but to limited success.
With the flag enabled, I was to produce similar results to those found elsewhere, but without the styling. 9to5Google produced a Google logo on the left of the bar which takes you back to the full results page, and an ‘x’ icon to the right which closes the bar entirely. I was also only able to make the suggestion chips appear while visiting sites like Wikipedia or Chromium developers – websites that are strictly informational and that may tie more directly into Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Most of us are accustomed to navigating back to the search page to choose something more to our liking, so I don’t see this being anything more than a convenience feature if it even launches officially at all. The full Google Search results page features time stamps, text snippets so users can get a feel for whether or not something is worth clicking, and so on. Simply using a top bar navigation full of suggestions without much context feels limiting, not to mention the lack of vertical space that causes this new area to feel a bit claustrophobic.
The fact that the caching has also grabbed an advertisement and placed it before the first suggestion chip is not good at all. This is still in early development, and if it comes to everyone directly, I hope there is a toggle to turn this off in the Chrome browser’s settings entirely. If nothing else, I hope the dev team excludes the advertisement chip! Is this interesting to you, or just more unnecessary clutter? Sound off in the comments.