Google introduced a Global Media Control center to both Chrome and Chrome OS late last year, and then went on to add several important features to it so that users could control all audio and video from one central location on their devices. From fast forward and skip buttons, to displaying nearby peripherals, and updating its artwork covers, it’s gone through quite a few changes and is honestly just beautiful and extremely useful now.
In this latest update, first discovered by our Reddit friend Leopeva64-2, who’s been keenly tracking all of the changes to the media controls, the Chrome development team has added a mute button to the bottom-right of the control center on Chrome Canary. While it was first mentioned in his post from back in April of this year, it’s finally beginning to see the light of day. I should mention that it used to exist as a part of the picture-in-picture mode before it was removed.
GMC V2 Add mute button to media notification.
This CL adds SetMute to MediaSession so that we can change mute status of the player from media session.Chromium Repository
Since I’m running Chrome OS Canary on my Pixelbook Go, I will say that I have yet to see the mute button on my device’s shelf via the Global Media Control center. This may only be for Desktop Chrome Canary at this time, but every feature that’s been implemented there has quickly made its way to Chrome OS since the two control centers are meant to be identical to maintain a consistent user experience.
Leopeva64-2 also mentions in a separate post from earlier today that Google may be looking to bring one-click tab muting back from the dead in the near future. You can see an example of this above (currently in Edge) – where there’s an audio indicator on a tab that’s playing something, it could be clicked to directly mute the source. For whatever reason in 2018, the UX lead for this experiment called it quits on its implementation. Now, he’s wanting to bring it back well, because.
Revert “Remove –enable-tab-audio-muting”
This reverts commit 479cc17585a64910853e9949b053499ecbeca9a5.
Reason for revert: Bringing this backChromium Gerrit
As stated in Leopeva’s post, a patch does not necessarily mean that this will make it to Chrome Stable as a released and fully implemented feature, but it does tell us that the developers see it as a useful tool for users. That alone gets me excited. Anything that makes the browser easier to use and takes the work off of the user is worth releasing, in my opinion.