Another month brings a new version of Google’s web browser, with Chrome 98 showcasing a bunch of features that are hidden behind a flag.
A privacy guide gives you a better understanding of the sites that have been tracking you for example, alongside a better screenshot function that’s been in development since 2021. Chrome should have updated itself automatically, but you can check by going to About Google Chrome and seeing if it’s either at version 98 or if it’s in the midst of being updated.
For the time being, however, these need to be enabled through the flag feature. This hides experimental features under development, but by going to chrome://flags, you can enable the screenshot and privacy guide function that Google Chrome 98 brings.
With Chrome being released on a monthly schedule, and version 100 being on track to be released in March, there are features being brought to the forefront to better help users, rather than the incremental background updates that are invisible to the casual user. But it shouldn’t be long until we see the privacy guide appear without having to be enabled through a flag.
Analysis: Google, let’s refine the flags page at last
The flag feature has been in Chrome for as long as the web browser has been released to users. Since 2010, the feature was renamed from Labs to Flags, where the experimental features have remained at chrome://flags.
But the way of navigating these flags has always been a struggle, as you can use a search engine to find a feature, but there’s currently no way of filtering the flags that are enabled. It’s either scrolling up or scrolling down to find these.
While Google maintains that this is strictly for power users and developers, having to enable a better screenshot function in Chrome 98 seems pointless for these types of users. It would be great to see a refresh of the flags page, with screenshots for each flag, alongside a way of displaying what flags have been enabled so far.
As we’re heading into triple figures in March with version 100, it could be a nice touch to see this page be modernized for the next 100 updates that Chrome is inevitably going to get.
In recent releases, we’ve seen improvements to the engine that powers Chrome and how it displays web pages, but it would be encouraging to see more features be showcased on the flag page, for the casual user instead.
We’re heading into an age where the web browser is going to be used for much more than work and gaming, as Opera has currently showcased. To appeal to users of features that they can switch on and off by themselves while explaining the benefits could be a good next step for Chrome going forward.
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