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Chrome Beta for Android has full screen browsing very well hidden


Does the image above look a little weird? That is right, it is Chrome running full screen on an Android device. A curious Nexus 7 user (Smackel from Reddit) accidentally found out we can turn this hidden feature on by pulling some strings and making a few tricks.

It ressembles the way Mac computers can turn apps full screen, getting rid of all the icons, bars and extra bells & whistles. Similarly, this full screen mode makes the browser take over the notification bar, giving the user a few more millimeters of navigating power.

It is interesting to think that just a few milimiters of screen real estate can make such a huge difference. Browsing suddenly feels much cleaner and more pleasing to the eye. But let’s cut through the chase – how exactly do we do this?

First, you need to have an Android 4.0+ device and download Chrome Beta (not Chrome for Android). If you fit the lonely requirement, you can go full speed ahead! Simply follow the next steps:

  • Type “chrome://flags/” in the address bar
  • Enable WebGL
  • Go to the Boids and Buildings Chrome Experiment page
  • Click on the “Launch Experiment” button
  • Click on “Run”
  • You are now on full-screen and can close this page

Keep in mind this is not an official feature just yet, so it’s not perfect. Full screen mode will go away after you close Chome Beta, but you pretty much have to kill it. It continues to work if you leave the app running in the background. If Chrome Beta gets closed, though, you have to follow the last 3 steps again.

This is more than likely no accident or bug. We are willing to bet Google has been secretly planning to introduce this this as a feature in a future update. The coding must be there. If it is a bug, though, we agree with Smackel that is is about the coolest one we have seen.

[via ChromeSpot]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. I don’t know, rather than this “full screen” I’d prefer an auto-hiding omnibar, like the AOSP browser.

    1. See, that’s exactly why I didn’t like the original browser and switched to Chrome.
      So – Google, please, don’t bring this feature to Chrome. Or, let us choose in settings.

  2. Excellent! Just finished all the steps on my SG3 & it’s working just fine. Thanks for the tip y’all.

  3. useful

  4. Wondering much my is going suffer running chrome beta on note2

  5. Wondering how much my battery will suffer using chrome beta

    1. Why would battery suffer?

  6. That’s definitely not a nexus 7.

    1. Ugh seriously??

    2. No. That is my galaxy nexus. The nexus 7 I was referring to was the reddit guy’s.

  7. I have full screen on regular chrome with the exception of my notification bar with no modifications and I would not care to hide my notification bar at all so im good

  8. I still can’t launch it. It crashes right away.

  9. So the code is there, but no way to activate it in the UI yet.

  10. Too much effort, but would like to see a ‘full screen’ option in the menu. Simple swipe down from the top of the screen could return to normal.

  11. This works great on my OG RAZR .
    So clean and easy on the eyes.
    I can’t believe a few MM makes such I big differance.

  12. No need to go through all that. The full screen API is separate from the web gl stuff, so you can access it directly without changing any settings at this demo page: or any of several just like it.

    1. Hey thanks for posting this link, appreciate it. Also great article. I’m actually enjoying Chrome Beta.

  13. Its funny how shifty the browsing experience is with chrome.. download boat browser..

    Chrome has slow scrolling speed and you don’t get native support for full screen browsing.

    Suck my small c0@k Google

  14. simpler solution:

    add this as bookmark:

    javascript:var r = document.body.mozRequestFullScreen || document.body.webkitRequestFullScreen || document.body.requestFullScreen; r &&;

  15. Would be nice to see this as a supported feature. It’s part of the reason I switched to Boat browser. The other part is the nasty problem of Chrome and Chrome Beta crashing my Nexus 10 a lot.

  16. You can easily browse full screen in the standard browser. Just go to lab under settings. There you will also find the setting to choose pop up navigation buttons, which is what nexus and every other butt ugly black bar/tap to activate onscreen button should have been.

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