Google Testing Global Media Controls for Chrome

Google is reportedly testing music controls for its Chrome browser and Chrome OS that lets users control music or video playback in the background. Google is updating the music controls to add a scrubbing bar and album art or thumbnail of the song or video playing in the background. There has been no official confirmation from Google regarding the new features but expect it to be released with v.91 update of Chrome that may be released by the end of May 2021.

The new feature by Google was posted on Reddit by u/Leopeva64-2 and was first spotted by Android Police. The new look is reportedly hidden behind a flag that can be activated under chrome://flags/#global-media-controls-modern-ui. The biggest additions to the music controls are the scrubbing bar and background art for music or videos. The changes are similar on both the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, where users can pin the music player between phone hub and tote on the taskbar.

It may be released with Chrome 91 but till then, can be experienced on Chrome Canary.

Late last month, Google announced that it will start testing Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as an alternative to cookies on its Chrome browser. FLoC is an essential part of its Privacy Sandbox project for Chrome. FLoC runs locally and categorises a user’s browsing behaviour that groups together like-minded users in a cohort. It will enable people to hide in large groups of people with similar interests and search histories.

Additionally, the search giant also announced in March that Chrome 89 update for Android will bring performance enhancements and will also use lesser resources, launch quicker, as well as boot up 13 percent faster than before. Google has employed ‘Freeze Dried Tabs’ and claims tabs from an earlier session will load up quicker. Alongside, Google has employed PartitionAlloc on Android as well as 64-bit Windows that is optimised for latency, space efficiency, and security.

Why did LG give up on its smartphone business? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 22:00), we talk about the new co-op RPG shooter Outriders. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Satvik Khare is a sub-editor at Gadgets 360. His proficiency lies in educating how technology makes life easier for everyone. Gadgets have always been a passion with him and he’s frequently found finding his way around new technologies. In his free time he loves tinkering with his car, participating in motorsports, and if the weather is bad, he can be found doing laps on Forza Horizon on his Xbox or reading a nice piece of fiction. He can be reached through his Twitter

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