Google Chrome Compact Navigation Feature
I like my web browser UI as compact as possible. To achieve that I have no problem of getting rid of some of the lesser used interface elements. Basic examples are compacting the menu or the bookmarks into a single button to save screen estate. Yes, even on a 1920x1200 monitor. Most developer efforts to reduce the interface elements aim at low screen resolution users. Netbook and tablet PCs come to mind where every additional pixel helps display more of websites and services.
Google has recently added a new experimental option to Chrome Canary and Chromium that is called Compact Navigation. Once enabled it reduces the interface of the Chrome browser further by getting rid of the address bar of the browser. The result? A single toolbar on top of Chrome and the rest of the browser window available for websites.
Lets start with how you enable Compact Navigation before we take a look at the feature in detail. Load the about:flags configuration page in your version of Chrome and locate the entry Compact Navigation near the end of the listing.
Adds a "Hide the toolbar" entry to the tabstrip's context menu. Use this to toggle between always displaying the toolbar (default) and only opening it as a drop down box as needed.
Nothing changes after you have enabled the feature. Right-click on a tab in the Chrome browser and select Hide the Toolbar from the context menu. This puts the new feature in motion. You will notice that the address bar has been removed, that the back and forward buttons have been moved to the left of the tabbar and that the wrench icon to the right of it.
The address bar is displayed when you press Ctrl-t to open a new tab, or when you press Ctrl-l. Regardless of your choice, it will only be displayed for a short time before it is hidden again on the screen. The size of the address bar is smaller than the standard address bar. It opens in proximity of the active tab.
Compact Navigation removes the page's web address from the browser interface, which may have security implications. If you do not know the address, you lose an effective way of identifying phishing websites.
Still, if you want more screen estate then Compact Navigation delivers it to you. The difference to fullscreen mode? Compact Navigation can be used with any window sizes, not just in full screen. (via Browserscene)Advertisement
All well & good but useless unless you can access the extension buttons.
Is there a way to a access them in compact mode?
I cannot test it right now, installing extensions crashes my Canary build.
Very nice feature by Google Team indeed. They have many experimental features, they should slow down their rapid release cycle and release one big and full of feature browser. I like it. Firefox have very much customization options, people will get it through addon in FF.
Just saw this and thought “I have to try it!” … enabled without an issue; but the address bar doesn’t seem to disappear at all, sure its smaller, and its in proximity to the currently opened tab as per the screenshots. But it is always visible for me.
It disappears automatically after a few seconds on my computer.
Working well in Chromium 13.0.767.0 but as I say extension buttons arn’t visible.
Think next android, armsupport, Compact Navigation etc in chrome… or why not the market.
for what build of chrome i dont see it?
It is only available in the Canary and Chromium builds. Dev will likely be next.
Just for Windows and MacOS? IÂ´m on Ubuntu with Chromium 13.0.767.0 and I canÂ´t see the option in about:flags
Well it is there on Windows, I cannot really say if they have not enabled it on all versions of the browser, but if you do not see it it appears that way.
Clearly design for when the chrome browser becomes the standard on the Android platform, probably from Ice cream sandwich onwards, we already see many of the features implemented in Honeycomb, so I would not be surprise if they actually name the browser when Ice cream sandwich is release. Currently I believe it is nameless.
Nice feature but of cause they still got to try and fit in the refresh button and apps at a minimum and bar already looks might crowded when this feature is activated. An it takes sometime to get use to it. Although I hope they bring some similar to the full screen so when you role mouse over the top part of the screen the URL address bar appears
Interesting. Google Chrome continues to suprise me with options and features. Thanks for another great post.
they removed the feature in newer chrome-dev release (e.g. 15.0.849.0 )
Frustrating!! “Compact Navigation” About: Flags Enable action is NOT AN OPTION!!!
I have Google Chrome, Google Cannery, and Google Chromium. The option under About:Flags in all three of these browsers is missing.
Can someone please assist with a working solution for the feature of Compact Navigation? I don’t not see the option under About:flags in Google Chrome, Google Cannery, and Google Chromium.
why they remove ?
Is there any alternative to this “feature” since it was removed?
I want to switch from Firefox to Chrome but I’m reluctant until we can maximize screen estate with Chrome. I’m using Hide Caption Titlebar Plus for Firefox and I would love something similar for Chrome.