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How to Try Out the New Animation on Google Chrome’s NTP


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How to Try Out the New Animation on Google Chrome’s NTP 

Google is working 24/7 to refine the experience with Google Chrome, so the browser receives new updates every once in a while with new features and smaller tweaks here and there.

 

Google is working 24/7 to refine the experience with Google Chrome, so the browser receives new updates every once in a while with new features and smaller tweaks here and there.

 

Earlier today, for example, I told you that one of the changes Google is working on is a redesign of the settings page, which is more or less inspired from the one in Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft is moving its browser from EdgeHTML to Chromium, so the changes the company makes in its app can be easily adopted by other browser makers too. Including Google, that is, so copying the settings page design for Google Chrome isn’t necessarily something totally surprising.

At the same time, however, Google is also working on further tuning Chrome, and the latest version of Canary also includes an extra small improvement that could escape unnoticed on most devices.

Beginning with the most recent update, which on my device brings the browser to version 76.0.3793.0, Google Chrome features a new animation on the new tab page, or NTP as power users call it.

The animation isn’t something that totally overhauls the experience with Google Chrome, but it’s just another confirmation that Google is paying attention even to the smallest details. And visual effects like this one have always been good news for most users.

 

The NTP on Canary currently seems broken
 
 
The easiest way to experience the new animation on the NTP is to simply drag and drop quick links around. In other words, click a shortcut on the NTP and drag it around to see the visual effect in action, and this thing works not only on Windows, but also on Mac and Linux.

Despite being available in Canary, which is the experimental version of Google Chrome where the software giant tests its latest ideas, this animation isn’t enabled by default, so users first have to turn it on using a dedicated flag. I expect this visual effect to be enabled for all devices in a future stable update for Google Chrome.

First of all, you need to launch the flags screen, which in Google Chrome can be accessed by typing the following command:

chrome://flags

Next, in the search box at the top, type the following flag to easily navigate to it:

Enable grid layout for NTP shortcuts

As an alternative, you can copy the following code and paste it in the address bar of Google Chrome Canary:

chrome://flags/#grid-layout-for-ntp-shortcuts

At this point in the development process, this flag ships as “Default,” which means it’s disabled. So click the drop-down menu right next to it and then toggle it to Enabled. When you’re ready, reboot the browser to save the changes and that’s pretty much it.
 
The new flag that allows you to enable the animation
 
 


The new drag and drop effect seems to be working quite smoothly in the Canary version of Google Chrome, so with a few minor refinements here and there, it should be ready for prime time. If you don’t like it and want to return to the original configuration, you can just follow the aforementioned steps once again and switch back to Default or Disabled settings.

Google hasn’t provided an ETA for this animation, but given it’s still part of the Canary channel, it could take a while until it makes its way to the stable version of the product. Like many users, I hope Google would add a toggle to easily enable and disable it right from the settings screen, rather than turning to the flags screen for this purpose.

The next version of Google Chrome that’s projected to hit the stable channel is Chrome 75 due on June 4.

 

 

 

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