One of the best parts about Chrome has always been the omnibox, and the ease with which searching the web is compared to browsers that came before it (though some have caught up in this regard now). Google has made additional search-related improvements to Chrome over the years – most notably the addition of Google Instant. But more search-friendliness is on the way.
Google announced today that it is going to begin testing variations of Chrome’s New Tab Page in which the user’s default search provider will be able to add a search box or “otherwise customize” the page.
“While you can search straight from the omnibox in Chrome, we’ve found that many people still navigate to their search engine’s home page to initiate a search instead,” says software engineer David Holloway on the Chromium blog. “The goal is to save people time by helping them search and navigate the web faster.”
“We’ll also allow search engines to display the user’s search terms right in the omnibox, which avoids the need for a second search box on the results page,” adds Holloway. “This new capability, along with other ways to improve search suggestions, are exposed in a new Embedded Search API, an extension of the existing SearchBox API. Search engines can implement any part of the specification if they’d like their users to experience a customized variation of the NTP experience.”
A small set of users on the Dev channel on Windows and Chrome OS how have Google selected as their default search provider will start seeing test variations starting today. Halloway says Mac will be coming soon.