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Google adds touch-friendly Chrome features in latest test version

Google adds touch-friendly Chrome features in latest test version

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Google appears to be readying a number of touch-friendly features for its Chrome browser. In the latest nightly Canary build, a new slide-to-navigate feature has been added that lets you swipe left or right to go backwards and forwards on web pages. It's almost identical to the same feature found within Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8.

Pinch-to-zoom also appears to be something Google is experimenting with too, thanks to an "enable pinch scale" option in the Chrome Canary flags. It's more experimental than the swipe navigation, but it works as you'd expect by zooming in websites using your fingers. On Windows 8, Google is also supporting the onscreen keyboard fully in the desktop version by displaying it when you tap the address bar or text boxes.

Chrome needs these touch-friendly features

With the release of Google's own touchscreen Chromebook Pixel and a range of Windows 8 machines, the need for touch features in Chrome has grown. Google released a "Metro" version of Chrome for Windows 8 last year, but it's mainly a container for Chrome rather than a finger-friendly version. These new features in testing, albeit minor, will certainly help make Chrome a lot easier to use on modern hardware.

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