Now, elephant in the room time: if you read this site regularly then you’ll no doubt already be familiar with the changes at hand. ‘Enhanced Bookmarks’, previously known as Google Stars, isn’t exactly new and has been available to use by way of a Chrome extension since October.
But in the latest beta release for Windows, Mac & Linux, users get enhanced bookmarks ready to roll out of the box, no add-ons necessary.
Enhanced Bookmarks, What’s That?
The feature aims to make finding and organising bookmarked items easier than it is currently, but also more ‘modern’ in behaviour. As we’ve noted in earlier articles on the feature, most browser’s bookmarking features haven’t evolved that much since the turn of the millennium.
As an approach it works beautifully. A mashup of Pocket, Pinterest and Google’s Material Design, amped up with Google Search smarts and neat features like public sharing and ‘Topics’.
- Add image thumbnails, notes and text snippets to bookmarks
- Folder suggestions
- Improved search scans entire page, not just bookmark title
- Automatic sorting of all bookmarks by ‘topic’
- Create public, shared folders
- ‘Dead links’ are archived
- Google Sync
On Beta Channel and Don’t See It?
To use the new bookmarks manager feature out of the box you need to be running Google Chrome Canary, Dev or Beta. If you’re on beta also be aware that the feature is being rolled out in waves, so you might not have it right away.
Keep an eye on Settings > Bookmarks > Bookmarks Manager or, if you’re feeling brave, switch it on manually by changing the chrome://flags/#enhanced-bookmarks-experiment setting from ‘Default’ to ‘Enabled’.
On the Stable channel? You don’t need to miss out; the official browser extension offers an opt-in. Android users can expect to see a native application for accessing saved items on the move appear in the coming months.