Google is constantly working on new features and improvements for the Chrome browser, which was just updated to version 112. The company is now working on an updated design for the iPhone app that moves the address bar to the bottom of the screen.
Google’s Chrome team just added a new experimental feature flag to the browser’s codebase, described as a “bottom omnibox” for iOS. The change appears to move the address bar in the Chrome browser on iPhone to the bottom of the screen, instead of the current position on top. That would mirror the appearance of the iPhone versions of Safari, Microsoft Edge, and other browsers.
Google doesn’t publish Canary channel builds for iPhone, so the new flag (#bottom-omnibox-steady-state) isn’t available to test right now. However, a comment in the code explains it will “move the steady-state (unfocused) omnibox to the bottom” — the “unfocused” part means that it might temporarily move back to the top of the screen when you tap on it or start typing a new address. Another comment from a Chrome developer says “we will also have a pref for this,” implying that there will be a setting to change the position back to the current design.
Google experimented with a bottom address bar design in Chrome on Android for several years, which was codenamed “Chrome Home,” “Chrome Duplex, and “Chrome Duet.” It first appeared in 2016, and went through several design iterations until it was fully removed in 2020. The change was never fully rolled out, but other browsers on Android implemented a similar design.
The bottom address bar hasn’t even appeared in public builds yet, and even after that, it might be reworked or cancelled entirely like the Chrome Duet design on Android. We’ll have to wait and see how it progresses.
Source: GitHub, Chromium Gerrit
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