They’re replacing the static image thumbnails Google has traditionally used for video results, with the move designed to help you find relevant content even faster.
The main issue with Google’s previous approach was that it allowed misleading thumbnails to trick you into opening videos that actually have nothing to do with what you want to watch.
11 hidden Google Chrome features you didn’t know existed
There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year. One of our favourites is the dinosaur game. The next time you fail to connect to the internet on Chrome, tap the spacebar.
It’s also worth Googling “barrel roll”, “zerg rush”, “super mario bros” (and clicking the question mark graphic), “festivus”, “recursion”, “askew” and “atari breakout” (and then clicking Images).
If you tend to browse with a lot of tabs open at once, you can clear up the clutter by pinning the ones you’re least likely to close. Right-click them and select Pin Tab. They’ll automatically shrink and slide left.
You can save some battery life by sacrificing performance. In Settings, scroll down to the System section and uncheck the box reading Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed. We wouldn’t recommend having this feature enabled all the time, but it could come in handy if you’re nowhere near a charger.
There are loads of Chrome Extensions available, but one of the most useful is Google’s Data Saver. It compresses the pages you visit to reduce data usage and speed up loading times.
Make multiple profiles
If you use multiple Google accounts, for work and for personal use, for instance, you can keep your bookmarks and browsing history for each account separate by creating individual profiles. Go to Settings, Manage People and Add Person.
This is also handy for when you lend your computer to a friend, and you don’t want them to have access to your internet history.
Many users would prefer it if Chrome downloaded files straight to the desktop, but by default it sends them to your Downloads folder. You can change this by going to Settings, opening the Show Advanced Settings menu, clicking Downloads and choosing your preferred destination.
To see cookies and permissions for every site you visit, click the View Site Information symbol on the left-hand edge of the omnibar. It will also let you quickly control things like Popup and Location settings.
You can quickly find out which pages are using up the most memory and slowing down your browsing experience by opening the burger menu, going down to More Tools and opening the Chrome Task Manager.
When you’re online and need to do a quick sum, you don’t have to hunt down your computer calculator or whip out your phone. Just type it into the Chrome omnibar and hit Enter.
If there’s a certain set of pages you always open when you turn your computer on, you can get Chrome to open them automatically when you launch the browser. In Settings, click Set Pages in the On Startup section, and choose the ones you want.
Search Gmail from omnibar
You can search your gmail inbox directly from the omnibar by going to Settings, Manage Search Engines, scrolling to the bottom and pasting https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#apps/%s into the box on the right-hand side.
This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
“So whether you’re trying to learn some new salsa dance steps or you’re stuck on the side of the road trying to change a flat tire, and need a video that uses the tools you have on hand, you now have access to video previews directly in search results, giving you a better idea of what you’re about to watch before you tap,” said Google product manager Prashant Baheti.
He added: “Video previews is the next step in helping you find information faster.”
Google says the video previews, which play silently, are currently limited to the Google app for Android and Chrome on Android.
They aren’t available on the desktop, and it’s unclear if this will change in the future.
By default, they only play automatically when you’re on a Wi-Fi connection.
However, Google says you can enable previews on mobile networks – or completely opt out of the feature if you don’t like it – by visiting the Settings menu in either of the apps.
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