Google Chrome Starts Testing One-Handed Use Feature for Android Phablets

The size of smartphone screens has increased immensely over the past few years. Today, a phone with a 5.5-inch screen is considered standard while 5-inch screen sizes and below are now seen as mini handsets.

Just recently, Lenovo and Xiaomi came in with huge screen-sized phones boasting 6.4 inches of display. Even for people with plus-sized hands, handling this kind of device with one hand can be cumbersome, especially when it comes to reaching out to the top third, probably to pull down the notification shade or even enter a search term or URL in Google Chrome, for instance.

In a new update, Google wants to help take care of this problem, but it will only affect the Chrome web browser. As at the time of this writing, the tech giant is testing a new version of Google Chrome for Android where users with large screened devices can access the browser’s controls from the bottom of the screen as opposed to the current version where these controls appear at the top end.

This might look like a very small change for Google Chrome to bring aboard, but for those who are using large screened devices and have relatively small hands, it is a worthy update. The app will be much simpler to use thanks to the easy access of the address bar right at the bottom of the screen. The upcoming Google Chrome version will also include the options to add and switch tabs alongside the new address bar.

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As noted earlier, many smartphone OEMs are going big with the screen sizes of these devices. With this in mind, there is a need for developers to restructure the interfaces of their apps so as not to make it difficult for users when interacting with these phablets. With Google Chrome leading the way, we expect to see more changes come in as more large-screened phones like the Xiaomi MI MIX, Xiaomi Mi Max, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro, Lenovo Phab 2 Pro and many others.

We have already seen similar moves with other popular platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows 10. The former’s Safari web browser has some controls at the bottom of the screen and so is the latter’s Edge browser.

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