In a rare UI tweak, Google Chrome for Android is introducing customisable toolbar shortcuts.

Given Chrome’s enormous user base, Google has typically been quite cautious about modifying its appearance and structure. Having said that, Chrome for Android may be undergoing one such modification with the addition of a customisable toolbar shortcut.

In place of Duplex/Duet, the Chrome UI on Android now features a toolbar with a home button, address bar, tab switcher, and overflow menu that contains a long list of actions.

The toolbar shortcut between the Omnibox and tab button/counter appears to be being rolled out more extensively by Google at the moment. One of three options—New tab (plus sign), Share, or Voice search—can be seen here (microphone).

By default, the button you see is determined by your usage and a current recommendation from Google. The overflow menu already contains New tab and Share, and clicking the URL bar brings up Voice search. It makes reasonable that the first two activities would be increased because they might be seen as essential to browser usage. In actuality, those activities took center stage in the abandoned Chrome Duet bottom bar overhaul.

Chrome Android toolbar shortcut
Chrome Android toolbar shortcut
Chrome Android toolbar shortcut

Nevertheless, users can manually choose the shortcut they desire and even completely eliminate the toolbar extension from the Chrome settings (under Advanced just below the Homepage button, which can also be disabled). With this flag, you can manually obtain it as well:


The toolbar shortcut was introduced in July 2021 with Chrome 92 for Android. It was initially made available to some individuals as part of standard A/B testing. Although it has been much more widely accessible in recent weeks—including since Tuesday’s stable release of version 101—Google has not yet made the feature official, and it might yet be removed.

This change may seem tiny in the broad scheme of things (and is simple to ignore or disable), but it adds a useful user interface element to Chrome for Android’s design. (The final one was the Material You redesign, whose functionality remained the same.) Google must believe that the rollout of this button is a significant enough improvement for users.

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