From housing bookmarks and articles you want to read later, to utilizing Google Lens and Search without leaving the page you’re on, Chrome’s side panel is no slouch. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite features in Google’s browser, and so long as it refrains from becoming too crowded and new tools are implemented in thoughtful ways, I’ll be happy.
Today, Leopeva 64-2 on Reddit gave us the heads up that the right-aligned powerhouse will soon be gaining new capabilities. This includes the ability to do something absolutely surprising – docking it to the left-hand side of the screen! While users in most countries read from left to right and are right-handed, it’s understandable that having all of this information packed into the right side of the display is most convenient.
However, being able to dock it to the left opens up more customization and comfort for left-handed people who are sick of settling. Also, anyone who speaks and writes in a language that reads from right to left (Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Sindhi, Urdu, Maldivian, etc.) may prefer to have pertinent information in the last place where their eyes rest (on the left). I write from right-to-left, so if anyone in the comments does the opposite, you can tell me if the psychology works that way, as I’d be very interested in knowing!
More surprisingly, the Side Panel will soon be resizable! Yes, for anyone paying attention, this is the thing I complained about most, even going so far as to state that the Side Panel is where content goes to die since it’s not even legible half of the time, preventing me from actually using it whatsoever.
These changes have been in the works for months, but are now available in Chrome Canary, with a future release date currently being unknown. Anyone using their Chromebook or Chrome browser out of the box without modifications will not be able to take advantage of this right now, but it’s still exciting to know it’s on the horizon. The Side Panel has so much potential, but without the ability to resize it, I’ve been hesitant to invest in it. Here’s to hoping this small but vital change livens up my interest in it going forward!