694 Google Might Make Experimental Chrome Flags Much More Accessible

Google Might Make Experimental Chrome Flags Much More Accessible

86613 Google Might Make Experimental Chrome Flags Much More Accessible

Google is working to enable a new Chrome Labs tool that will make experimental flags features much more accessible. That’s according to recent reports highlighting the appearance of the new feature, which does just that. In effect, Chrome Labs will follow in the same vein as Firefox and Vivaldi. Summarily, making features that were previously hidden away as Chrome Flags easier to turn on or off.

What are Chrome Flags experimental features anyway, and what does Labs do to improve those?

For clarity, Chrome Flags are experimental features tucked behind toggleable settings, and Labs is a feature tied directly to that. The features in question are often buggy and aren’t always destined for prime time either. Instead, the flags are intended to test the features, in the wild, and give Chrome developers feedback to improve them. And sometimes they simply get canned instead.

But the feature also lets users try out new features that will eventually be released long before that happens. And there are different flags across the various Chrome Channels depending on how far along the individual features are. So users can visit “chrome://flags” in Canary, Beta, Dev, and Stable versions of Chrome. And what they see will most often differ depending on which version they’re running. There are also key differences depending on whether Chrome is on Android, desktop, or Chromebooks.


For now, Chrome Labs itself is also tucked behind a flag. And that’s limited to the developer-first channels. Users simply need to open up any version of Chrome but the stable one, navigate to the flags page, and then search for “Chrome Labs.”

But that could change if the tool is brought to more stable channels. In effect, it would remove the need to navigate to “chrome://flags,” to begin with. Giving users an easier way to access the experimental features Google really wants to be tested more broadly. Presumably, that would be for mobile as well as desktop platforms.

When is this coming to the Stable Channel?

Now, once activated, the feature makes flags easier to turn on or off. In effect, it adds a beaker icon that can be clicked, which shows experimental features to be turned on or off from a drop-down menu. The feature is turned on at the next Chrome restart.

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But there’s no guarantee this will be added for everyday users soon. Although it’s been spotted as part of the Chrome 89 Canary build, that doesn’t mean it will appear in Chrome 89. With that said, Chrome 89 is slated for March 2, so it could appear in that update.

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