Google Chrome has been treated to a swathe of upgrades this year that include a dark mode, improved tab management system and new password settings. But don't think the American tech giant is done beefing up its browser with new features for 2019. Google is working to fix one of Chrome’s biggest problems – we’ve all been there, you’re browsing the web with a stream of different tabs open at once and suddenly music starts blaring out from your computer and you have to quickly figure out which page is responsible.
The American tech giant has already attempted to remedy this problem by displaying a volume icon on tabs that are playing any kind of sound. However, this can still be quite difficult to notice, especially if you have a exuberant amount of tabs open at once.
But now it seems Google has finally put together an all-encompassing solution to such a problem. The company has announced a new “media hub” for Chrome that lets you deal with all your media notifications in one place.
When the feature is enabled, you’ll see a little music icon next to your Google account photo at the top right-hand corner of Chrome. Clicking on this will immediately display audio controls for tabs that are outputting audio.
The hub itself certainly looks like something you’d find in Google’s Android operating system. In a nutshell, it’s a small bubble that’ll adjust its background to album artwork if music is being played. At the top left-hand side it’ll tell you which site it's playing from and at the bottom there are controls to play, pause, skip forward and skip backwards.
Users aren’t able to move the media hub button, so you’ll always know exactly where to go if audio unexpectedly starts blasting from your computer.
Announcing the new Chrome feature, Google said: “Designed to minimise any disruptions to whatever you need to get done in your browser, the new media hub helps you to be more productive by bringing all your media notifications to one place and letting you manage each audio and video playback, without ever having to navigate any tabs.”
Google added the media hub is part of “features aiming to enhance your media experience in Chrome”, suggesting further improvements in this regard could be delivered in the near future.
The new media hub is rolling out in Chrome 79 that’s available right now for Windows, Max and Linux. As noted by 9to5Google, you can enable it right now by heading to Chrome’s flag page and activating “global-media-controls”.
Simply type “chrome://flags/#global-media-controls” (without the quote marks) and make sure the toggle is enabled. You’ll then be prompted to restart the browser for it to appear.
Written by David Minister
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