We’ve been covering everything that’s been going on with Chrome’s new Side Panel since it launched, and there is no shortage of things that Google is trying to pack into the right side of your browser. It all started with a new way to access your bookmarks and quickly spun into a place for Reading list items, Google Lens, and more.
Chrome History Journeys allows you to pick up where you left off with a specific topic or set of websites that may be related to one another, and it’s primarily a means of saving you time while browsing the web. If you’re planning a trip, buying a gift for someone or anything else, Chrome’s ML algorithm should be able to lump these searches together into a “journey” that you can continue later.
Now, it seems that the company is attempting to include its recently announced Journeys feature in the Side Panel along with the other items, and have made the experience more cohesive with a dropdown box which is a part of the “Unified Side Panel”. Both of these can be enabled via Chrome developer flags on the Canary channel right now, as discovered by Gabe.
Side panel journeys
Enables Journeys within the side panel. – Mac, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, Lacros#side-panel-journeys
Unified side panel
Revamp the side panel experience. – Mac, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, Lacros#unified-side-panel
At this time, clicking the Journeys button in the dropdown of the side panel does nothing, but the very presence of the button and its logo, along with the direct wording of the flag indicates that Google has intentions to at least make them accessible through this location.
While we find the side panel extremely useful at times, especially with side search and Google Lens now doing their thing right on the page you’re on without forcing you to open a new tab, we have concerns that the side panel itself may soon become too bloated. It’s basically becoming the new top bar in Chrome, and I wonder at some point if that’s the goal – to move everything over to the right to provide a much cleaner, out-of-the-way experience at the top of the browser.