Hidden Features in Chrome 79 – Try Now!
By: Brendan Hesse
In this article, Brendan highlights about few hidden features of Chrome 79 that might go away when Chrome 80 goes public.
Most of these can be enabled in Chrome by going to chrome://flags/ and using the search bar to find the flags listed below, then set the dropdown box to “enabled.”
Reader mode, which strips away all the design elements of a web page except for text and unformatted images, is similar to what you get when you read stories you’ve saved on services like Pocket and Instapaper. Other browsers, namely Safari and Firefox, have had reader modes built in for years. Google added it to Chrome on Android in 2014, then walked away. The desktop version’s finally catching up.
You can still enable it in Chrome 79 by setting the #reader-mode-heuristics and #enable-reader-mode-in-cct flags to “enabled,” but it’ll be gone in Chrome 80.
Hiding Suggested Articles
Hiding suggested articles from new Chrome tab windows will no longer be possible by disabling the #enable-ntp-remote-suggestions flag. However, you’re still able to hide them permanently by clicking the three-dots “more” icon next to the “Articles for you” section of a blank new tab page and tapping “hide.”
Overscroll and horizontal tab switching
Two navigation options have been removed from Chrome Mobile in the Chrome 80 beta, and presumably will be absent once the public release launches. The first is overscroll, a gesture-based control that lets you move back and forwards within a tab by swiping left or right. The other is the horizontal tab switcher, which changes the layout of tabs in your open tabs tray from the default vertical orientation to horizontal.
You can enable either feature in the Chrome flags settings in Chrome 79. Search for and enable #overscroll-history-navigation flag for overscrolling, or #enable-horizontal-tab-switcher to use the horizontal tab switcher while it’s still around.
While many File Transfer Protocol (FTP) tools still exist, Google says that the use of FTP services has dropped for Chrome users to the point where it’s no longer worth supporting the feature. Chrome’s FTP support will slowly be phased out over the next few releases, beginning with Chrome 80. You can still technically re-enable it in Chrome 80 by turning on the #enable-ftp flag, but this will be removed entirely with the rollout of Chrome 82, so get in those last transfers while you can.
You can download the Chrome 80 beta here