As a webmaster I find it important to provide the same level of access to all users who come and visit my web properties. This ideally should be regardless of the location they come from, the operating system they use, the web browser they favor or the plugins or extensions they have installed.
When you look around on today's Internet though, you will notice that more often than not, companies tend to limit access or change the way their properties work depending on factors such as your country or IP, your browser, or operating system.
If you visit Mozilla's Add-on repository for instance in a browser like Opera ,Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, you will notice that the add-on listing on the site is barely readable in those browsers. Many media sites, Hulu, Pandora or Netflix to name three limit access to users from the US or select countries.
I'm using Firefox as my main browser and that won't change especially since Mozilla got their act together and started pumping out great improvements that made the browser faster, lighter and better in many aspects. Still, I do use other browsers for testing purposes and Chrome is one of them.
For some time now I have been experimenting a strange behavior in Chrome that I do not really like. When you go to Google's main page everything seems like always. You can enter a search term and hit enter, and it leads to the search results page. So far so normal. If you search using the address bar of the browser instead, you will notice that a vital element on the page is missing: the search form.
That is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, I do not see the web address anymore. Am I still on a Google property or have I been redirected to somewhere else? It is not clear. Second, I can't edit the web address anymore, for instance to change a parameter directly in it, and I can't copy it either. Third, to search for something else or modify the term, I need to use the address bar since there is no search form that lets me do that. Note that I see this behavior in Chrome Canary and Dev, but not in the latest stable version of the browser.
I dislike this layout for the reasons mentioned above. The only way to avoid this as far as I know is to always use the search form when you search Google in Chrome. Anyone else noticed this behavior lately? If so, what is your opinion in the matter? (thanks Christoph)
Update: To disable the feature, type chrome://flags into the browser's address bar and search on the page that opens for Enable Instant extended API. Change it to disabled to turn it off and get your search form back on the Google search result pages.
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