Android has had widgets long before they came to iOS in any form, but it looks like Apple’s recent inclusion of the age-old Android feature is only now making widgets fashionable again. After the Chrome team introduced absolutely gorgeous widgets for iOS, it’s now turning its eyes back to Android. As Chrome Story reports, Google has a new search widget with ominous quick actions in the works for an upcoming Chrome release.
The new widget is available in the latest Canary release of Chrome, v93. It’s currently hidden away behind a flag (chrome://flags/#enable-quick-action-search-widget-android), but once it’s activated and the browser restarted, you’ll be able to find it in your widget selector, named “Quick Action Search Widget.” In it, you’ll see a search and URL bar with four gray placeholders below it for buttons that have yet to be added. The widget is far from finished — you can only tap the search bar to launch Chrome right now. At least it already respects your system-wide theme setting.
Looking at iOS, we can guess what could come to Android soon, though. The Chrome iOS widget is already more advanced than its Android pendant, and it offers three quick action tiles: A QR scanner, a voice input option, and an incognito mode shortcut. Since Google will probably not re-invent the wheel for Android, we would assume that we’ll see similar quick actions once development has advanced on the Android side.
Left: Flag to activate. Middle: Android. Right: iOS.
If you want to give this unfinished widget a try, you can download Chrome Canary from the Play Store, but we’ve also got in over at APK Mirror. We wouldn’t recommend using this version of Chrome for your daily surfing sessions, though — there’s a reason it says “unstable” in its Play Store listing.