Google Adds New Chrome Features to Help You Finish Your Holiday Shopping

Google Adds New Chrome Features to Help You Finish Your Holiday Shopping
Soon, Google Chrome will have a price tracker integrated into the mobile browser. (Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo)

‘Tis the season to start your holiday shopping at the last possible second when you realise time is running out and not even an ongoing pandemic will get you out of buying a gift. Google Chrome is adding new features to help you get in and out unscathed.

If you’re already a Chrome user on Android and you’re planning on shopping out in the world, a new feature is rolling out this week that lets you shop online utilising Google Lens directly from the search bar. All you have to do is open up Google Chrome on mobile, tap on the address bar, and then select the Google Lens icon to fire up the camera. From there, you can snap a shot of what you’re looking at, and Chrome will fetch the latest prices.

Google says this feature will be coming soon to Chrome users on the desktop. Eventually, you’ll be able to easily right-click on an image from a shopping site as you’re browsing and select the ability to “search images with Google Lens.” Then, you can draw over the product you’re interested in with your mouse, and Lens will display the result in another tab.

You can also use Google Chrome on Android to track pricing on a particular item. Search for what you’re looking for through the mobile browser and keep that tab open. When you’re ready to check the price, the open tabs grid will sport a badge in the corner of any item with recent changes. The feature is equivalent to competing services like Honey and Priceblox, but instead of routing through a third party, Google grabs that information for you. The ability will launch on iOS devices in the coming weeks.

You can access Chrome's price-tracking feature through the open tabs grid.  (Image: Google)You can access Chrome’s price-tracking feature through the open tabs grid. (Image: Google)

A feature you might have noticed recently is the shopping cart reminder, which pops up on the launch page in Chrome. Starting soon on Windows and Mac in the U.S., Google will aggregate various shopping carts from across the web. However, you’ll have to be signed in to your Google account to get access to this feature. According to the support page, carts are stored in Chrome for up to 14 days.

If you’re already deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem, it might be worth checking out these features to make it easier to find what you need. I already leave tabs open in Chrome on my smartphone to return to it later, and it seems natural to do the same when I’m shopping.

This isn’t Google’s first foray into shopping. It’s been learning lessons since launching nearly-forgotten apps like Google Express. And with Google having shut down its Shopping app on iOS and Android earlier this year, the company has had to innovate on how it remains a part of your shopping habit.