In just under four years of its launch in 1998, Google Chrome became a popular web browser and ended the dominance of Internet Explorer. The browser remains a hot favorite worldwide in spite of recent security issues with Google Chrome and had a worldwide market share of 63.69% as of end of June 2019. [Source: StatCounter]
Google actively maintains this popular browser and keeps releasing new features. One such new feature is that Google could integrate media control buttons in the upcoming version of the Chrome browser. The feature called Global Media Controls will let you open a small overlay window with playback controls.
The feature was spotted in the latest Chrome 77 Canary build. The new version of Chrome includes a flag to turn on the feature. The browser can automatically detect a controllable media session and display a small play button in the right side of the address bar. At this point, the buttons only work with YouTube videos.
Once Global Media Control is enabled, the feature will appear next to the URL field. The feature also gives a short information about the audio or video that is being played. You can continue to browse in different tabs and still get the information in an overlay pop-up. The small toolbar will help users play or pause a video or music that is being played in a tab.
If you want to test and enable this feature, you can go to chrome://flags and search for global, select ‘Global Media Controls’, and enable it. Once this flag is set to enabled mode, Chrome browser will prompt you to relaunch the browser. Setting the flags back to default will disable the feature.
It’s not clear if the feature will go live for the main Chrome browser yet. It is still being tested through Canary builds. Google plans to introduce more such helpful feature in the coming future. It has already planned to implement a feature that restricts ad blockers on Chrome. Google is internally calling it “Heavy Ad Intervention”, which will list heavy ads that affect the web browsing experience.