As smartphones with an 18:9 display aspect ratio continue to be released, we are seeing many applications receive redesigns that move buttons to the bottom of the screen. A notable example is the Pixel Launcher with the bottom search bar that was released alongside the Google Pixel 2. Another example that has actually been in the works for quite some time is the ‘Chrome Home‘ experiment which moves the address bar to the bottom in Google Chrome for Android. Now, it appears that Google is deprecating this bottom address bar experiment in favor of something new called Chrome Duplex.
Earlier today, Android Police reported that Google might be scrapping the Chrome Home experiment. The report cited comments on closed bug reports that state the following:
“We are ending the current Chrome Home experiment and closing the corresponding Chrome Home bugs. Thanks for the feedback and support!”
Furthermore, Android Police noted that the feature is now disabled by default on the latest Google Chrome Dev and Canary builds (though it can be manually enabled by the feature flag in chrome://flags). It does indeed look like Google is getting rid of this feature, which is disappointing to many of us with taller smartphones (like the Google Pixel 2 XL) since it would result in having to stretch your hand to reach the address bar.
However, we have discovered a new commit in the Chromium gerrit that suggests that Google is instead replacing the bottom address bar with a “split toolbar” Chrome Home interface called “Chrome Duplex.”
We aren’t entirely sure what difference this will make in the user interface as of yet, but once the latest nightly Chromium build is live we will test it out and let you know. For reference, the new Chrome Duplex feature can be enabled at
chrome://flags#enable-chrome-duplex once it goes live.
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