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Chrome for Android 43 Arrives with New ‘Touch to Search’ Feature

android-tap-word-to-searchA new stable release of Chrome for Android is now rolling out on the Play Store.

Chrome for Android 43 delivers the usual bug fixes, security patches and performance improvements to the table but throws in a few juicy features for tasting, too.

Among them, Google say, is a faster checkout experience using Google Wallet and —at long last— the super useful ‘touch to search’ gesture. A useful download prompt change also features.

The update is rolling out now on the Play Store to compatible devices running Android 4.1 or later. Don’t panic if Chrome says it is up-to-date as these rollouts can take a day or two to cover everyone.

If you don’t have Chrome for Android you can install it from the Play Store for the wonderfully tempting price of free!

Google Chrome for Android on Play Store

Download Prompt

chrome-android-download-prompt-750x326

Arriving stable side with Chrome 43 is a new download prompt. Its job: to keep your downloads folder nice and tidy.

When you next try to download a file that has the same name as one already in your downloads folder you’ll be asked whether to ‘create a new file’ or ‘replace’ the existing one. 

No more will your downloads directory be stuffed full of cat.gif, cat.gif (1), cat.gif (2), cat.gif (43) as a result of impatient download button mashing! 

Touch to Search

As the name might otherwise explain, touch to search lets you touch a word to ‘search’ for information on it. It’s currently only working in mobile versions of the browser (not tablet) but with a quick tap of your thumb on the name of person, a place or an unfamiliar word you’ll be able to pull up and peek at a sheet of information on it, right there in the web-page you’re reading.

Essentially letting you “google” without needing to leave the page you’re on:

Touch to search in action

The word or term you tap is sent to Google along with the words around it to provide context. In return you get dictionary definitions, pictures, search results or any other information the big Google brain deems relevant presented in a ‘draggable’ drawer.

Touch to Search has been available in the Beta channel since around late 2014.

When you’re next faced with a word you don’t understand, a person you wish to learn a little more about, just give it a tap to try it out.

Spotted any other new features? Be sure to give us a yell about them in the comments below. 

  • I’ve had this since it was introduced in Beta last year, and I feel like I can’t live without it now. Perfect for reading on Wikipedia, without falling down the Wikipedia rabbit hole and having 15+ open tabs on all sorts of things.

    • hredkioo

      totally agree. i enabled this on stable about:flags and its so useful

  • Alexander Vynogradov

    This is stupid! Why does Google announce this function, if you need to activate it in “chrome://flags#contextual-search”? Prior to the activation there is no such setting found in Chrome. I can see how the average user who does not know this stuff will get / feel cheated.

  • Seriously now?

    Joey, little tip. Maybe you’ve noticed this, but I haven’t seen it reported. You can now switch tabs by swiping left/right (or up/down when in landscape mode) in the soft keys area. It’s still not as responsive as it should, and the feedback given in portrait mode is wrong, but it’s a start.

    This was actually in v.41 as well, but it was removed in 42 and only came back now.

  • Dale Cabell

    How do you bookmark pages in version 43?