Google experiments with URL-hiding function for Chrome

Polycount

Posts: 2,788   +571
Staff member

This experiment, first spotted by Android Police in Chrome's Canary software branch, effectively hides everything that comes after a website's domain name in the address bar. Specific web page paths are not displayed.

There appear to be three slightly different versions of this feature available at the moment. The first will only show the full URL when the user clicks on the address bar to edit it, the second reveals the path when a user hovers over the address bar with their mouse, and the final variant doesn't hide the path at all until a user interacts with a web page.

Google is likely hoping that this change will boost security for less tech-savvy users. By focusing a user's attention on the domain itself instead of the URL as a whole, this functionality could help some individuals avoid potentially-dodgy or otherwise illegitimate websites.

To be clear, Google isn't forcing this feature on anyone just yet. Even those who choose to hop into dev or Canary builds of Chrome will need to enable the new URL-hiding function manually via the chrome://flags interface. However, if Google receives positive feedback on this change, it might consider rolling it out to the general public -- only time will tell.

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VariableSpike

Posts: 34   +36
Wow.... It's not as if a certain Chromium browser has this already..... (Vivaldi for the unaware). I use chrome on occasion, but I don't get how Google are making out these changes to be new
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,464   +6,145
Making the URL visable to the user humanized would make more sense, for example:
2020-06-15-image-5.png

I've made programs that have had to sanitize and convert far more messy text strings then standardized URLs. Humanizing a URL would be far more simple.
 

dylannnnnn

Posts: 29   +22
Wow.... It's not as if a certain Chromium browser has this already..... (Vivaldi for the unaware). I use chrome on occasion, but I don't get how Google are making out these changes to be new
Google hate much?

Notice in the article that no where does it say Google has announced this feature as new....only that Android Police notice the change in the canary builds.

 

Irata

Posts: 1,222   +1,954
Safari does this on the ipad. Personally find it annoying, but others mileage may vary.