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Dedicated Explore Tab Comes to Chrome for Android in New Start Surface Design

Aug 6, 2019

This week Google released an update for Google Chrome on Android and there are some changes that can be found within this new release. There is a dedicated Explore tab now, which is great news. You will find that the “Duet” layout has also been removed and there’s a noticeable new design called Start Surface. We wanted to give you all of the latest details about the Chrome Android app update, so keep reading to learn more about the changes.

Google Chrome Adds Dedicated Explore Tab for Android App

A dedicated Explore tab has been added in the latest Google Chrome update for Android. This comes along with many other changes you will notice if you check out the newest version. The Chrome Android app has seen many different changes when it comes to the user interface and overall design of the app, with some of these being duds.

The new Explore tab is part of the redesign rolling out which is called Start Surface. Start Surface is replacing the Duet layout, which was a little complicated and clumsy. Duet as you might remember had a lot of the user interface features and functions around the bottom part of the screen. People didn’t seem to pleased with this move and Google is now trying to change that with Start Surface.

Start Surface is Newest Google Chrome Android Layout with Explore Tab & More

Start Surface replaces Duet and it’s testing right now on two different Chrome for Android versions. Chrome Canary and Chrome Dev are now seeing the Start Surface layout. We think that this is a great alternative to the Duet layout. As with most changes, Google is rolling out new features in the A/B format. This is something that we’ve come to expect from the tech giant.

In order to see the new layout, you will need to go to chrome://flags and then enable the Start Surface flag. You are going to also need to type in #enable-chrome-duet and ensure that this is disabled. There will be two panes available for Start Surface if you go to #enable-two-panes-start-launcher.

Remember to enable the Start Surface flag and disable and Duet flag before you continue. Once those have been changed, you will need to restart the browser completely. Reloading the app itself will allow you to see the changes. If you go straight into the tab switcher, you’ll notice this new layout. Look on the bottom and you will see “Explore” and “Home” right there.

Explore Tab Part of New Start Surface Design for Chrome Android

If you are on the Chrome Dev, you will not be able to use the Explore tab since it’s not functional right now. You will be able to see and use the Explore tab though if you are on Chrome Canary. Start Surface has two panes since that’s what Google is calling the layout with both Home and Explore. There is also a single pane version about to begin testing too, and it should look a lot like the version already out.

We want to know what you think of all of this news in the comments below. Do you like that Google usually tries out new versions in an A/B format? Are you someone who hated the Duet layout and are glad there is a new Start Surface version available? Which version of Chrome for Android do you use and which one do you think runs the best? What other features would you like to see Google add to Chrome for Android in future updates?