‘Chrome Actions’ let you use commands to control your browser from the address bar
Instead of making users dig through the settings for an obscure feature, Google is now testing 'Chrome Actions' that can be entered directly into the browser’s address bar – in order to gain a specific result.
Google Chrome is one of the most powerful modern desktop browsers, and offers its users a wide range of features that can be accessed from various sections of the browser including collapsing menus, the settings section and the right-click context menus – the browser is almost bursting at the seams with settings and features.
However, as Chrome has added feature upon feature, some of these options have become difficult to locate or turn on. These are because they have not-so-obvious names, or cannot be easily found because they’re buried inside the settings area. Google has been working on a very simple solution to mitigate this problem since November last year, and the company has announced that it is now being tested on the browser’s beta channel.
Instead of making users dig through the settings for an obscure feature they want to toggle, Google is now testing Chrome Actions, a set of phrases that can be entered directly into the browser’s address bar – in order to gain a specific result. For example, you should be able to type “open an Incognito tab” or “run Chrome safety check” or even “translate this page” and the browser will allow you to start that task immediately.
You can try out the new Chrome Actions on the latest version of Chrome automatically after updating, but if you haven’t, you can enter chrome://flags and then search for #omnibox-pedals-batch2 and #omnibox-pedals-default-icon-colored, according to Google. You will then have to restart the browser and then enter your commands into the address bar – it should show you an action button with similar text and a Chrome icon, which will trigger the task immediately.
If you don’t like Chrome, Microsoft added the same functionality to its Edge browser on the Canary channel back in March, in the form of the pedals feature. This means that users will likely be able to access the new feature once the company rolls it out to the stable channel over the coming weeks.