Chrome tries to level up your productivity with these new features

Ewdison Then - Apr 15, 2021, 10:14pm CDT
Chrome tries to level up your productivity with these new features

A lot of people these days live in their web browsers. In addition to the usual culprits of social media, news, and cat videos (which never go out of fashion), browsers today enable a treasure trove of apps, from online office suites to advanced note-taking apps to, well, even games. Web browsers have pretty much become operating systems and, just like operating systems, keeping productive in those environments can sometimes be a challenge, which is why Chrome is introducing new features to keep the browser in check when you need to be in the zone.

Some more advanced users are notorious for having dozens of tabs opened at the same time. Google developed tab search and tab groups to at least put some order to that chaos. Those don’t really matter much when you have multiple Chrome windows open but, fortunately, you can now also rename those windows with more descriptive text that you’ll be able to see when you Alt+Tab to switch windows.

PDF started out simply as an electronic document format but it has now grown to support editable forms and presentations. The latter use case often has people scrambling for dedicated PDF apps but Chrome’s built-in PDF reader can do just as well or even better. Chrome, for example, will automatically mute browser notifications when presenting or sharing Chrome windows to avoid those embarrassing moments when private notifications suddenly pop up.

Google has been playing around with highlighted text in searches in order to take users directly to the part of the content they need. That’s fine for the search results that Google itself makes but now even ordinary users can highlight a section of text from a website and then select “Link to highlight” to use that very same feature to share with others.

As powerful as Chrome is, it is also notorious for being a resource hog. There have been massive improvements, boasts Product Manager Kayce Hawkins, in terms of CPU and memory use, which translates to longer battery life in the long run. Chrome is also becoming smarter about putting unused tabs to sleep, like collapsed groups you can’t see anyway, to further squeeze out as much performance as it can. Freezing collapsed groups is still coming to Chrome’s beta while Link to Highlight is now available on Windows and Android with iOS coming soon.


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