Introduction of persistent Google Search side panel in desktop Chrome

Desktop Chrome has unveiled a new feature – a side panel dedicated to Google Search, offering users continuous access to search results. This development, in progress since March 2022, marks a significant enhancement to the Chrome browsing experience.

The newly introduced Chrome side panel, accessible to third-party extensions, currently hosts essential features like Reading List, Bookmarks, Journeys, and Customize options. With the introduction of Chrome version 116, Google is prominently introducing the “Search” function within this panel.

Upon activation, the default interface presents a search field accompanied by a Lens shortcut. This innovative Lens feature facilitates image dragging and uploading or precise selection of page areas. Once a search query is input, the user interface emulates the experience of conducting a Google Search on a mobile device. A convenient shortcut enables users to open the search results in a new tab seamlessly.

Crucially, the search results list maintains its visibility, with each subsequent click elegantly opening within the current tab, discreetly resizing as needed. Should a new tab be opened, the side panel seamlessly reverts to displaying the user’s Reading List. This dynamic functionality empowers users to navigate search results efficiently, swiftly transitioning to a new page if the desired information isn’t readily available on the present site.

Furthermore, users have the option to pin the side panel, positioning a prominent “G” shortcut adjacent to the address bar. This shortcut provides direct and instantaneous access to the Search field. Alternatively, users can opt for the conventional route of opening the side panel followed by accessing the Search feature through the dropdown menu at the bottom.

With the recent stable release of Chrome version 116, the Google Search side panel is progressively rolling out to a wider user base. This update aligns with the introduction of a native system sheet on Android 14, enhancing the overall browsing experience. The persistent Google Search side panel serves as a valuable asset, particularly during extensive search tasks, streamlining the process and providing uninterrupted access to search outcomes.

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