Google brings (a bit of) touch support to Chrome

While Google Chrome may be the browser of choice for many, there's still one area where it's severely lacking: touch. Chrome was never designed to be used with touch screens so on today's hybrid touch-enabled laptops it falls far behind Microsoft's IE.

Luckily, Google seems to be taking small steps to fix this situation. In the latest Canary build, Chrome finally gets some touch support with a few navigation features as well as the very basic pinch-to-zoom capability.

Chrome now lets you swipe to navigate forwards or backwards on a webpage, just like Internet Explorer 10 and 11 do. And if you go poking around the Flags section of the browser you can also find the “enable pinch scale” option which lets you zoom in and out. Windows 8 also gets a tiny bit of love with Chrome fully supporting the on-screen keyboard on the desktop.

Of course Google isn't doing this just out of the kindness of their hearts. With a steadily growing number of touch-enabled Windows 8 devices out there, and the tiny invisible fraction of Chrome Pixels that also feature touchscreens, the company is simply ensuring that its own browser will still be the browser of choice for many users.

Via: The Verge

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I've read this article and downloaded the latest version of Chrome Canary, though I cannot see it in chrome://flags. Could you show me where is "enable pinch scale"?

john.smith_2084 said,
I am using pinch to zoom in chrome canary since the beginning of the year, they were hidden under startup directive
The article discusses that.

I've read this article and downloaded the latest version of Chrome Canary, though I cannot see it in chrome://flags. Could you show me where is "enable pinch scale"?

I suppose it always had a little bit of touch functionality that it just inherited from the Device it was running on as far as two finger swipes for scrolling and whatnot. however, beyond that a few few other things what touch functionality would you really need?

I use the stable version of Chrome on my laptop with a touchscreen, and it works alright. It's leaps and bounds better than Firefox, but IE is the best browser for touch support.

Of course Google isn't doing this just out of the kindness of their hearts. With a steadily growing number of touch-enabled Windows 8 devices out there, and the tiny invisible fraction of Chrome Pixels that also feature touchscreens, the company is simply ensuring that its own browser will still be the browser of choice for many users.

Isn't that why any company does anything?

Majesticmerc said,
Isn't that why any company does anything?
Don't tell the anti-capitalists that. You know they only do things to squeeze every penny from an unemployed single mother's pocket so she can't feed her children.

Those features should have been there for more then a year now... I mean, seriously Chrome is the most used mobile browser and their desktop stuff doesn't support this?

Studio384 said,
Those features should have been there for more then a year now... I mean, seriously Chrome is the most used mobile browser and their desktop stuff doesn't support this?

It is far from the most used mobile browser.

Nik Louch said,
It's the default on Android, which now is beating iOS in sales figures.

Only on 4.1 if I recall though, previous versions use the older stock Android browser. Safari still has quite a big lead on the market share (on mobiles) versus Chrome by a big margin, same with the older stock browser. Chrome's fairly small at the moment, like ~3% I think, again on mobile devices, desktops are a different story.

That said, yea, way late on touch support on desktop OS's, but better late than never. Was a chore to use on my one tablet.

Nik Louch said,
It's the default on Android, which now is beating iOS in sales figures.
Have a look on http://marketshare.hitslink.com/ at the mobile browser share...Chrome has 4.4% to Safari's 58.75%.
Android browser does have 20.59% though so it's not even Google's most used mobile browser!