Custom Chrome tabs get more meaningful labels

In a perfect world, all Android apps would use custom tabs via in-app browsers (WebViews). Google is now making it even more clear when you “launch” Chrome Custom Tab (CCT).

With Chrome 104 or earlier, you’ll see “Powered by Chrome” below the full three-dot menu. Google browser version 105 throws a “Running in Chrome” text for custom tabs with a banner. (The last item is the full color code and the monochrome version will help reduce distraction.)

It appears in all applications that use custom Chrome tabs, and is somewhat more user-friendly and straightforward than the previous description.

Google recommends developers use custom tabs if “the app directs people to URLs abroad [their] domain.” Apps can customize the toolbar with their own buttons and menu items, while providing “support for the same features and capabilities of the web platform as browsers.” One of the biggest advantages is how users can stay signed in to the same sites so they don’t have to do it again.

Major third-party apps from Twitter to Slack use custom tabs on Android, while Instagram is a particularly scandalous comment. For a while, Google’s search results app and Discover feed have been experimenting with their own built-in browser, but that seems to be abandoned. We hope not to return.

Chrome 105 was not released widely at the beginning of this week.

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