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Google tests new shortcut for incognito mode in search app

Google tests new shortcut for incognito mode in search app

Google is testing a new shortcut option for Incognito mode in its Search app, making it easier for users to access the feature. The update was spotted in a beta version of the Google app for Android smartphones and includes several other UI improvements aimed at simplifying the user experience.

Streamlined access to incognito mode

Android Authority discovered the new Incognito mode shortcut in version 15.26.34.29.arm64 of the Google app. This beta version is available to testers who have opted in to receive updates through the Google Play Developer Program. With this update, users can now open the Incognito tab by simply tapping on the search box. Doing so reveals a new Chrome Incognito option above the keyboard, which offers a faster way to switch to Incognito mode compared to the current method of tapping on the profile picture in the top-right corner and selecting the Incognito tab.

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Simplified interface design

The update also brings an improved look to the Home tab in the Google app. Previously, labels like Home, Search, and Saved would appear at the bottom of the screen. These labels are now hidden, leaving only the icons visible, creating a streamlined and simplified interface. This change is intended to clean up the look of the app, making it easier to use and more visually appealing.

Despite these updates being available in the latest beta version of the Google app, some users, including Gadgets 360 employees, have not yet had access to them. This suggests that the changes may be part of a server-side rollout that will gradually become available to more users over time.

Circle to Search: A New Visual Lookup Feature

In addition to the Incognito mode shortcut, the Google app will reportedly get support for a new feature called Circle to Search. This visual search feature, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), allows users to scan QR codes or barcodes visible on the screen. When a user long-presses the Home button, a chip with the URL of the destination website will appear next to the code. This feature was also spotted in a beta version of the Google app and is expected to roll out to users on the stable channel later.

Read more: Google stops continuous scrolling in search results

These updates come hot on the heels of reports that Google may stop offering continuously scrolling search results on mobile and desktop platforms. The introduction of a faster way to access Incognito mode and a more streamlined interface signals Google’s commitment to improving user privacy and the overall user experience. The Circle to Search feature further demonstrates Google’s commitment to integrating advanced AI capabilities into its services, making everyday tasks easier for users.