Some folks are beginning to see a nice new change to Google+ for Android. The app has started implementing Chrome Custom Tabs, which is a feature Google released last year that allows you to view third-party content without being kicked to a browser or using a barebones webview.
We’ve seen a couple of reports spawn this morning, but not everyone seems to be seeing the feature despite being on the latest versions of these respective apps. That would indicate that Google is trickling it out as a server-side change, and there’s no telling how long it’ll take to get to everyone.
Chrome Custom Tabs bring a couple of key benefits over traditional methods of displaying third-party content.
- It doesn’t interrupt your app experience much: the content loads up right there within your current app.
- You get access to autofill and cookies as if you were viewing the site within Chrome, so if you want to login to a site or make a purchase you could do so right then and there.
- Content can be pre-loaded, so it doesn’t take long to see a page’s content from the moment you click the link.
- Custom Tabs can be themed to match the app, so your user gets the sense that they’re still in the app (which they are).
The video above goes into a bit more detail about Chrome Custom Tabs if you’re curious. It’s very cool stuff, and we’re not sure why it took Google so long to bring it to Google+.
Those who’ve been unable to live without Custom Tabs have been able to get full function in any app even if they don’t implement the feature thanks to third-party solutions like Chromer and Anticipate, but it’s always nice when the app developers take the time and care to implement it themselves. Let us know if you’re seeing Chrome Custom Tabs in your Google+ app straight ahead.