As Google is performing stage front renovations to its Chrome OS, Google Mail, and other services with enhanced features and a consistent Material Design upgrade, its acclaimed web browser Google Chrome is set to receive an additional feature for use on mobile devices. As seen on Chromium Gerrit, a browsing history view feature will be accessible by pressing and holding the back key on mobile device versions of the Chrome browser. As this feature is still in beta as spotted in the Google Chrome Canary v70, speculation remains regarding what this feature entails exactly and how the history information will be displayed on screen when the feature is officially rolled out for Chrome Mobile.
According to the case on Chromium Gerrit “996238: [Back Button For History] Adds flag & hides behavior behind flag” and the countless updates to the code beneath, it can be assumed that by “long pressing” the back key a history popup will emerge to show recent web pages visited. Whether this flag will employ Chrome’s recent adaptation of duplex split toolbar user interface as seen in the Chrome Canary update release of February, we’re still unsure, although it does seem likely given the function of the history popup and the descriptors attached such as “hides behavior behind flag.”
Chrome Duplex was released to allow the addition of a toolbar with the swipe gesture on Chrome’s mobile versions. The revealed toolbar would show suggested websites and articles as well as other quick action buttons. It is seamlessly integrated into the interface for use within the range of a single thumb. It is suspected that the recent activity history flag will utilize the same mechanism to pop up above the background browser display to show recent history for quick click back and re-visitation.
Browsing history is not difficult to view as it stands, but Chrome for mobile is expected to come out with this feature to make it easier than easy. How the history will be displayed and the exact details of the kind of gesture involved in recalling the pop up is still under speculation as the code review has not left many details regarding this on Chromium Gerrit but we can see the beta version of this feature in Chrome Canary. As the feature develops, we can understand how the final update for Chrome mobile will look when it is released for the general public in the next couple months expectedly. As seen in the screenshot from XDA developers below, the long press of the back button yields the following on the display. For Chrome Canary or Chromium Nightly users, entering “chrome://flags#long-press-back-for-history” enables the feature for use. This reveals a pop up showing some recent history as well as options to view the complete browsing history or open a new tab.