It seems that Google is going on a spree to turn its web browser into a portal to its other products and services. Whether that campaign will ruffle competitors’ and regulators’ feathers remains to be seen, but there doesn’t seem to be any stopping Google from its push. Most of these new and upcoming features revolve around search results and the New Tab Page, the latter of which is getting a new module that will surface your Google Photos whenever you think of opening a new browser tab.
Browsers have definitely come a long way, not just in terms of functionality but also in user interfaces. No longer confined to single pages per window, tabbed UIs have opened the door to more experiences, some of them controversial. Going beyond a mere blank canvas, new tab pages have become a sort of staging ground for links to websites, other services, or even ads.
Chrome New Tab Page is now home to quite a few “modules,” almost all of which tie into a Google product. The most notable is Discover, which surfaces potentially interesting articles based on your searches and preferences (that Google knows about). Google was recently seen integrating Google drive into that section as well.
According to Chrome Story, the latest to join that page will be Google Photos “Memories,” the section of Google’s cloud photo service that collates and organizes photos according to events and dates. Once enabled by the user, they will be able to see new Memories as they come up, saving them time from having to check Google Photos regularly or wait for a notification. Like the Google Drive integration, this feature is hidden under a flag in the Canary version of Chrome.
This feature could be a huge perk for heavy Google Photos users that are presumably already using Chrome. It conveniently sits on a page that you are most likely to always see when using Chrome. That said, it also demonstrates Google’s intent to have its browser become a gateway to its services, even as regulators and rivals try to divorce Chrome from the rest of Google-land.