Plenty of times you’ll be reading an article on your phone and come across a word, product, person or place you’ve never heard of. Curiosity tends to reach out to launch a new tab, but Google Chrome for Android is working on a more elegant solution.

Currently in testing, Chrome’s “Touch to Search” feature makes doing this much faster, without needing to leave the webpage you’re on.

“Touch to Search sends a word and its surrounding context to Google Search, returning definitions, pictures, search results and other data,” explains Google.

In practice it works beautifully. When faced with something you wish to learn a little more about, tap the word, topic phrase or place in question:


You’ll see a small tray appear towards the bottom of the page. Pull this upwards to peek at more information:


Or drag it all the way up to scroll through the contents:


How to enable One Touch Search in Google Chrome for Android

Touch to Search is currently not enabled by default on the stable channel for a reason: it needs more testing. But if that doesn’t put you off you can try it out as follows:

  • Open a new tab in Chrome on your Android device
  • Go to ‘chrome://flags#contextual-search’
  • Tap the box that reads ‘Default’ and select ‘Enabled’
  • Tap the ‘Relaunch Now’ button at the bottom of the screen

If you try it and decide it’s not quite for you, you can disable it one of two ways: either repeat the steps above, but setting the switch back to ‘Default’, or via Settings > Privacy > Touch to Search > Off 


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