Chrome Is Working on a Side Search Panel to Make Browsing Less of a Pain

Chrome Is Working on a Side Search Panel to Make Browsing Less of a Pain
Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP

Good news for anyone who’s ever been cheesed at having to hit “back” or open 10 new tabs while going through your Google search results. According to 9to5 Google, it appears a new side search feature is in the works.

You can see how it works in the demo video below. But in short, you can basically hit the Google “G” logo located on the left side of the search bar. Doing so will then open up a neat little side panel where you can scroll through search results. Clicking a link will then open the page in the main browser tab. The feature is similar to one released for Chrome for Android. That version lets you move search results to right under the address bar.

This is obviously a feature meant for the tab fiends among us. While it might not seem all that useful for casual users, it’s definitely handy in situations where you’re researching a topic, writing reports, or just systematically going through search results to find what it is you need. That said, it’ll likely be a while before the average joe gets to try this out.

The feature was spotted in Chrome Canary, Google’s web browser for developers and anyone with some tech gumption. As the name implies, it’s where Google releases all the latest and shiny features that then get filtered through to beta, stable, and developer versions of Chrome. In other words, while you get all the cool stuff, it’s not particularly stable.

As for when we might actually get it to see it? According to 9to5 Google, it’ll probably make its way over to the stable Chrome in Chrome 96, which is slated for mid-November. Another question is whether the side panel search will roll out to other search engines. Sidebars also aren’t particularly unique. Other browsers, like Firefox, have had it for a while now, though they were mostly for bookmarks.

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.