Chrome beta 38 for Android gets a handy touch to search function

Among some performance updates and bug fixes, the new Chrome beta app for Android includes an experimental feature to assist with Google searches. Once enabled, you can simply tap to highlight any text on a web page and a search window will appear with the highlighted text already entered in the search box.

I liken this feature to what [company]Google[/company] Chrome and other browsers do on the desktop: There you can highlight web content and right-tap for a “Search Google” function. It’s a fast, simple method to get more information about something you’re reading. In Chrome beta 38, it’s a similar function but made for the smaller screen of a phone or tablet.

Android Police found the feature and shared these two screenshots to illustrate how it works:

chrome 38 beta search highlight

Chrome 38 beta search result

On the left, you can see the word Microsoft highlighted and a little pop-up at the bottom of the display. Tap that and the search window flips up to show the search results for the highlighted text.

Since the feature is experimental, you’ll have to enable it, and of course, you’ll need to have the latest Chrome beta installed on your Android device. You can run both the stable, everyday version of Chrome and the Chrome beta on the same phone or tablet as they’re entirely separate app packages. Once Chrome beta 38 is installed, type this in the browser’s address bar: Chrome://flags and look for the Enable Contextual Search option. Choose to enable it and you’re all set for the tap to search function.