In development since March of 2022, desktop Chrome is now rolling out a side panel that gives you persistent access to Google Search results.
The Chrome side panel, which third-party extensions have access to, is already home to your Reading List, Bookmarks, and Journeys, as well as Customize. With Chrome 116, Google is more widely introducing “Search.”
Its default state shows a search field with Lens shortcut, which lets you drag and upload an image or “Select any page area.” Once you enter a query, the UI is basically like using Google Search on a phone, though a shortcut lets you open the results page in a new tab.
This results list will remain visible with each click opening in the current tab, which shrinks down. (Opening a new tab, will reset the side panel to your Reading List.) This means you can browse results and quickly open a new page if the information you’re looking for isn’t available on the current site.
Meanwhile, you’re able to pin — next to the close button — this side panel so that you get a “G” shortcut to the right of the address bar that will immediately open the Search field. Otherwise, you have to first open the side panel and then the dropdown to access Search at the bottom.
We’re seeing Chrome’s Google Search side panel more widely appearing with Chrome 116, which hit stable yesterday. On Android 14, that update introduces a native system sheet. Overall, this UI can be helpful when you’re doing a lot of searching.
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