Google Chrome on Android seems to get a new text selection feature that allows the browser to define words with one tap. That was based recently report highlights the incoming features, which seem to start running slowly now.
As implied, this feature is centered around other capabilities that already exist in Chrome for Android. Namely, because the browser is currently functioning, users can highlight text and then pull up on the card that appears at the bottom of the UI. The card contained a lot of information taken from a Google search for selected words.
Now, Chrome also seems to show a new card at the bottom. It contains definitions for each word selected on the page. A pronunciation guide is also included. Long press a term or word to select it, with a change in place, back to the search results described earlier. Pulling on the definition gives a complete knowledge graph for the term being searched.
That means that users can now get a lot of information for words with very little action, helping them to fully understand text context better.
This is also in beta but it is much more functional there
This feature also looks alive and well in Chrome Beta for Android – currently in version 84. But additional features can be found on that platform as well. And that will undeniably make tap-to-search more functional and useful.
In testing, the features in Chrome Beta not only look for definitions of words. Trying to do a search to define the word “physicist” in one article, for example, it pulls the terms around it too. In this case, it is one mathematician in particular – as shown in the example image below.
From there, the card shifted from defining the term to putting public information about the scientist in question.
At first glance, it might seem like an arbitrary change. But this will help end users more easily find out about people who are referred or involved in the news. Or other writings. That, in turn, can help users better understand where information comes from and maybe even help users determine the truth of the information.
For example, an article about science can refer to one or two scientists, specifically. Giving users the ability to click on their names and determine their work and other information can help users find out if they are experts in the relevant field. As a result, it will allow users to determine whether they have the expertise needed to make the claims associated with them.
If and when Google releases a feature, it will stack well above the others related to checking facts that feature has been launched.
When does Google Chrome determine the words for you?
As shown above, this is basically a feature that is being tested for now. So not all users will see Chrome for Android deciding what to tap on now. Instead, the feature appears to be directly linked to the experimental settings found in the “chrome: // flags” hidden settings menu. That can be found there through a simple search for the term “definition of contextual search.”
Given the state of feature discovery, it’s not immediately clear when it will be launched more broadly as well. Maybe Google plans to launch both beta features here simultaneously. Or maybe choose to launch one before the other. However, this will make Google browser stand out just a little more than other apps on the platform when it finally arrives.
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